For many horror movies, the fabled brass ring is to scare your audience. So each year, tons of entries strain in their seats, hands extended, trying to do just that. Some of them manage to expand on proven concepts, while others try to push the genre to new directions. Ultimately, many of them fail. In fact, so few come close to the prize that the industry is over-saturated with jump scares and psychological thrillers that forget to target the very core of what could cement their longevity: make the experience entertaining. As fans, there is a lot to wade through to simply be entertained. So much in fact that even those most die-hard among us often come away jaded and disappointed.
Blood Fest, the 2018 horror-comedy send-up from director Owen Egerton isn’t about to try and reinvent the wheel, but it also isn’t in the business of spraying a fart in your face at the fragrance counter. Quite simply, it sets out to entertain.
Years after the murder of his mother, Dax (Robbie Kay), celebrates their once mutual love of horror films in everything that he does. From his bedroom-shrine to the horrific, to his job at the local video store. Dax’s father (Tate Donovan), a psychiatrist, bitter over the contribution that he feels those same movies played in the death of his wife denies his son entrance to the horror con to beat all conventions, Blood Fest. Taking a page from his best friend and secret love interest Sam (Seychelle Gabriel), Dax raises the proverbial finger to “the man”, ignoring his father’s rules and pleading with friend Ashley (Barbara Dunkelman) to get him into the convention. It’s not long after entering through the gates that Dax learns the con is nothing more than a ruse to lure fans into their own gory bloodbath as celebrated director and promoter Anthony Walsh (played by Egerton himself) is hell-bent on shooting the horror film to end all horror films with the convention goers becoming the movie’s very real victims. Only the truly devoted fans have a chance of escaping by adhering to the tropes, stereotypes and rules associated with horror films.
From the setup to the first few kills and beyond, Egerton is playing this one for all the fun that he can and it shows. Equal parts Cabin in the Woods and Waxwork, Blood Fest doesn’t have any intentions of straight-facing this one, getting goofy silly, and even overly sentimental in all the right places. We have some strong comedic performances from our leads as many will recognize Dax’s best friend Krill (Jacob Batalon) from the most recent Spiderman franchise and even Zachary Levi drops in for some memorable moments half way in (yes, he’s top-billed, but be assured this is nothing more than a cameo in all actuality).
The ending, albeit a little groan-worthy in its big reveal doesn’t taint the big fun and laughs here…not to mention some nice practical f/x and just enough meta to leave fans grinning. RECOMMENDED.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in