One of my favorite film genres like many others would be horror. From the silent era with films like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to horror icons such as Ash Williams, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. Regardless of people’s opinions of the genre it does take skill when making a horror film as there is a slew of films not worth the light of day. With so many films hitting the market it does not hurt to take the genre in a different direction. Films like Shaun of the Dead, Fido, Zombieland and Cooties show how comedy could be infused with gore resulting in enjoyable films.
Owen Egerton’s new film Blood Fest offers a twist on the familiar tropes by offering its viewers a reward for being such loyal followers of the genre. Written and directed by Egerton, the film follows three teenagers as they attend a horror themed convention called Blood Fest. It soon becomes clear that the convention is a cover to kill all of its attendees with horror themed villains: chainsaw wielding maniacs, zombies, vampires and killer clowns. While all this blood is being spilled the convention’s host watches in a secluded tower editing his horror masterpiece. The film stars Robbie Kay (Heroes Reborn, Once Upon a Time), Seychelle Gabriel and Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming) all of whom are fans of horror films and it’s their adherence to “the rules” that keeps them alive. The entire cast is fun to watch but it is the camaraderie between these three that kept me entertained and invested in their journey. The stand out to me was Jacob Batalon aka “the guy in the chair” who even though cast as the best friend again makes enough of his screen time to get the laughs in but not feel overused; “I don’t feel so well” has got nothing on this.
It is evident that Egerton’s film is a love letter to the history of the genre and its fans; with call backs to Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre there is even a line said “George Romero if you’re out there, save us”. This was surprisingly enjoyable and if given the chance I would seek it out and give it a watch. The combination of gore, comedy and story are a great mix in offering a horror fan something new.
3.5 out of 5
Available digitally Friday August 31st & Blu-Ray / DVD Tuesday October 2nd