[Screen It]


(2018) (Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards) (R)

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Horror: A masked killer stalks and murders people at a Halloween themed horror amusement park.
Natalie (AMY FORSYTH) is a young woman who's returned home from her studies and work to spend time with her good friend, Brooke (REIGN EDWARDS), although she isn't particularly happy to see that Taylor (BEX TAYLOR-KLAUS) is Brooke's roommate. Nonetheless, all three of them join Quinn (CHRISTIAN JAMES), Asher (MATT MERCURIO) and Gavin (ROBY ATTAL) at a horror-based amusement attraction to which Gavin has VIP passes.

As they enter the place along with many other patrons looking for a good scare, they're unaware that a masked killer has arrived and targets Natalie and her friends for a murder spree.

OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

Beyond a slightly interesting premise -- that murders take place at a Halloween style haunted house attraction where it could be hard to differentiate reality from what's being faked -- there's nothing here that's remarkable, engaging or memorable.

The characters barely have any notable personalities and are nothing but fodder for the masked killer who's about as interesting as the various prop mannequins scattered throughout the park. A few slasher style horror films are truly scary -- the original "Halloween" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" -- and thus a cut above the rest, but this clearly isn't one of them. The only frightening thing is the threat of a sequel featuring more of the same (albeit with a likely different mask). "Hell Fest" is more like "Snooze Fest" and rates as just a 2 out of 10.

Reviewed September 27, 2018 / Posted September 28, 2018

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