August 10, 2018 Blood Fest (Movie Review)
What Horror movie fanatic does not love the opportunity to live out their favorite sub-genres in a theme park like setting? The answer is none. Well, your darkest nightmares have been answered in the form of Blood Fest, a one night festival celebrating the most iconic Horror movies and allowing everyone to play out scenes. The only thing is… it’s real! The concept behind the new Horror Comedy Blood Fest, it is a fun ride you will be screaming to get off.
A flick written and directed by Owen Egerton (Follow 2015), Blood Fest premiered at SXSW 2018 and was screened at the Cleveland, Fantaspoa and Edinburgh International Film Festivals to positive responses. Now seeking an even larger audience, thanks to Fathom Events and Rooster Teeth, Blood Fest will find its way into more than 600 select U.S. cinemas for one night on Tuesday, August 14th at 7:30 PM local time. A curious viewing experience fans of Horror should certainly look into attending if possible, for those who do not, Cinedigm will be releasing the film in select theaters and on digital, cable, and satellite platforms as of August 31st.
With those details in mind, most are probably wondering what exactly is Blood Fest and is it just another lame low budget Indie Horror film? Fortunately, it is none of the above. Instead, Blood Fest is a well executed Horror Comedy that harks back to the days of when the genre was clever and exciting. Not a retro style Horror film in anyway, it more channels the nature of ’80s Horror Comedy favorites such as 1985’s Return of the Living Dead or 1987’s Monster Squad into a modern day feel.
The story follows Dax (Robbie Kay: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011, Once Upon a Time series), a young guy obsessed with Horror films dying to attend Blood Fest with his friends Krill (Jacob Batalon: Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017, Every Day 2018) and Sam (Seychelle Gabriel: The Last Airbender 2010, Falling Skies series). All ready to go, unfortunately his father, Dr. Conway (Tate Donovan: Hercules 1997, Argo 2012), is adamantly against Horror films and the entire concept behind Blood Fest. Low and below, he finds Dax’s pass into Blood Fest and cuts it up. What a bummer. Fortunately for Dax, Krill and Sam are not going to let him miss the event and urge him to call Ashley (Barbara Dunkelman: RWBY Chibi series, Camp Camp series), a acquaintance of his who happens to have landed a role as topless girl number 3 in a lame low budget Horror film, in order to get him another pass. Doing just that, the team of Dax, Krill, and Sam are off to Blood Fest with high hopes!
From here, the pace picks up immediately as Blood Fest host Anthony Walsh (Owen Egerton) enthusiastically addresses the mass of people who entered the gates of the festival only to shock them with a mysterious acrobatic masked murderer along with various other pig-masked killers with chainsaws slicing up everyone. In the words of Jerry Dangeridge from 1985’s Fright Night, “Welcome to Fright Night… for real.” With the massacre begun, a real life Horror film is being recorded throughout the grounds of Blood Fest, guaranteeing no one will survive, even if they are keen to the tropes of the genre. Will Dax, Sam, and Krill join forces to defy the odds?
Possessing elements of Horror, Comedy, Action, and Adventure, Blood Fest is a high-paced film that, if anything, will keep your interest. It is well-written and finds inventive ways of recreating Horror film cliches within the story that almost seem like they could be believable. With that, Egerton’s Blood Fest does a great job of not taking itself too seriously. The Horror elements are the most pronounced, but the Comedy is not over the top, it is more intelligent. They poke fun of everything from what to expect from a Horror movie to vape pens.
Additionally, the characters are extremely likeable and you are cheering for them to find some way out of this hell on earth situation they are in. Dax, being the main character, has an interesting backstory, and this lends itself to him overcoming his own internal fears. Sam, the not so girly-girl, pretty girl, who is more like Dax’s best buddy, is equally wonderful. Then there is Krill, the nerdy, kind of goofy character who really wants to get laid but is just a really sweet dude. Together, they form a team that is fun to watch as they navigate Blood Fest together.
On top of all this, like any Horror film, there is a twist. Maybe you will predict the twist, maybe you will not. Even if you do, Blood Fest is so full of energy, you will want to watch it through the final credits. Deservingly earning a spot next to other modern Horror Comedies like 2011’s The Cabin in the Woods, Blood Fest is a fantastic roller coaster ride fans of the genre will not want to miss. That is why CrypticRock gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars.