Parents' Guide to

Hell Fest

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Horror fans may enjoy grisly, creepy carnival slasher.

Movie R 2018 89 minutes
Hell Fest Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 13+

Good scary movie

I thought this movie was a fun scary movies. Good for teens not to gory just fun and scary to watch.
age 16+

Best scary movie I've seen in years

This was a pretty good scary movie, very jumpy, along with a plot twist. I was super impressed with storyline throughout and really held my attention the whole time. It wasn't a typical scary movie which I was happy about because I haven't seen a decent scary movie in quite some time now.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (9 ):

Reveling in the kind of scares that were popular in the 1980s, this slasher fest is far from great, but the characters have an appealing realness, and it's spirited and fun overall. The 20-somethings in Hell Fest, especially the three young women, look like real people rather than fashion models, and they actually seem like they could be real friends, not just "types" thrown together. Their excited, blurted dialogue sounds like it could have been improvised; it never sounds overly scripted. The theme park itself, which is much like many modern-day horror-themed mazes and fun houses, is filled with the kind of stuff that you might find at a Halloween Spirit Store, but artfully arranged and lit.

Director Gregory Plotkin (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension) uses the constricted space of the hallways and rooms for maximum tension. Taking a cue from creepy-carnival movies like Tobe Hooper's The Funhouse (1981), effects appear to lean toward the practical, with actual stage blood and gore, rather than rubbery-looking digital effects. The movie's killer (who hums "Pop Goes the Weasel") is a weak spot; he has nothing to offer that any other masked murderer in movie history hasn't already tried, although the movie cooks up a unique ending. A highlight, however, is Tony Todd -- best known as the title monster in Candyman (1992) -- playing a carnival barker with a penchant for the dramatic.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 28, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: January 8, 2019
  • Cast: Bex Taylor-Klaus , Amy Forsyth , Reign Edwards
  • Director: Gregory Plotkin
  • Inclusion Information: Non-Binary actors, Transgender actors, Female actors, Black actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 89 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: horror violence, and language including some sexual references
  • Last updated: April 3, 2023

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