MOVIE REVIEW: Welcome to BLOOD FEST
Blood Fest: Directed by Owen Egerton. Starring Robbie Kay, Jason Batalon and Seychelle Gabriel.
Over the last twenty years, horror movie fans have seen the evolution of the sub-genre I'd like to identify as "the deconstruction of horror." This type of movie is marked by fans of horror movies, suddenly finding themselves in a horror movie and then trying to survive by adhering to a series of cliches that they claim are 'The Rules of Horror Movies.' This has been a plot used many times before in movies like Scream, Cabin in the Woods, House of a Thousand Corpses and now, Blood Fest. So does the film do the sub-genre justice? Well, read onwards to find out...
The film opens with Dax (played by Robbie Kay) with an old Bela Lugosi movie on Halloween night with his Mom. Dax's Mom, we learn, shows him horror movies so he will learn to be stronger than that which he fears; unfortunately, not too long afterwards, Dax witnesses the murder of his mother at the hands of a serial killer who is then killed by Dax's father Tate Donovan. Later, we learn that the serial killer was an escaped patient of Dr. Conway.
Now, while many understandably become repulsed by horror movies - due to the trauma associated with it, Dax instead spends the next several years of his life delving further into horror movies - much to the dismay of his Father who blames horror movies for the death of his wife. In fact, Dax loves horror movies so much that he and his friends, Sam (played by Seychelle Gabriel) and Krill (Batalon), have gotten tickets to 'Blood Fest,' a one-part, outdoor concert, one-part horror maze, one-part horror film convention. 'Blood Fest' is presented by horror movie director Anthony Welsh, played by the movie's real-life director Owen Egerton. Welsh has managed to bring together not just the fans, but also the stars, writers and directors of many of the top horror movies that have been made in the last couple of decades.
Promising a night filled with every kind of monster movie horror - there's a zombie section, a slasher section, vampires and even something called 'clown town' - that can be imagined, Welsh then calls everyone together in front of a band stand, seemingly to open the festivities and unveil his new monster, a serial killer who is wearing a copy of the mask that the killer of Dax's mother wore the night she died. Then on cue, a team of killers wearing pig masks, attacks and kills the audience with chainsaws. Dax and his friends must now use their knowledge of horror movie rules in order to survive the ordeal.
Now, I don't want to give anything away, but Egerton seems to use this movie as a vehicle to rage against people who don't like horror movie fans and/or people who think horror movies cause violence. The result, however, is a not-very-interesting movie that seems to mock the very people who make great horror movies.
With that said, Egerton is known by many people as someone who likes to make psychological and thoughtful horror. Unfortunately, that can not be said of this movie. Instead, what I see is a lot of rage directed at people who are never going to be a threat to horror movies, along with a lot of bland humor, gore, and cliches.
Still, that's not to say that this movie is all bad. Kay, Gabriel, and Batalon all show up and really put their best efforts into making this movie passable. However, Donovan seems to struggle in scenes which require him to say his lines with the straight face.
Technically, this film is also not well-executed. It's overly bright in many scenes which causes it to fail in giving an impending feeling of doom. The scenes where CGI are used make the movie look artificial and distract from the rest of the film.
Though the main actors of this movie do their best to make movie more fun to watch, Blood Fest isn't much more than yet another knock off of Scream!
Overall rating: C+