Fairground horrors are a genre not visited often and with Tobe Hooper’s (yes, it is a classic) The Funhouse the benchmark and to an extent from the other side of the coin Tod Browning’s immortal Freaks, you’ve got your work cut out from the beginning.
Starting out with the introduction of college student Natalie visiting her best friend Brooke during a break in College, we shift gears with them (and a group of others) visiting the travelling Hell Fest a horror funfair where a murder had taken place a few years earlier. Anyone with an ounce of common sense wouldn’t go to such a place but we are in slasher territory where common sense doesn’t prevail. In all fairness Hell Fest is a really cool place and I could see myself going there but that murder would put me off a bit.
Natalie had a childhood crush on on the group and Brooke is determined to ‘set them up’ and things are going along well. That is until one of the group is brutally murdered by a weirdo in a mask who has been following the group around. The friends think it’s a cast member of Hell Fest taking his job really seriously but nothing could be further from the truth.
The film has some very brutal kills and with the carnival atmosphere, Hell Fest is a lot of good old fashioned slasher fun. The cast are pretty likeable and as soon as you see the great Tony Todd in the credits you know he will add a little class to the proceedings. Although his role is limited, his presence is felt throughout the movie.
Hell Fest has a decent budget which is definitely up on the screen, a nice score from Bear McCreary and because at times its very cruel and sadistic it gets a thumbs up from me. Entertaining fluff and with a certificate 18 a refreshing change from the usual sanitised horror designed for girlies and soft lads.