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The Cabin

A product of YouTube juggernaut Rooster Teeth, Blood Fest sees Dax (Robbie Kay, Once Upon a Time) a horror-obsessed teenager whose only wish is to attend Blood Fest. Blood Fest is a horror lover’s wet dream of an event in which several acres of land are divided into sub-genres (think the clock arena in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) for guests to traverse like a haunted house. Dax’s father When We First Met (Tate Donovan, slumming it) forbids Dax from going to the festival because he blames the genre for his wife’s murder several year’s prior. Being a rebellious teenager, Dax disobeys his father’s wishes and goes to Blood Fest with his friends: tough girl Sam (Seychelle Gabriel, The Legend of Korra), lovable nerd Krill (Jacob Batalon, Spider-Man: Homecoming), popular girl/actress Ashley (Barbara Dunkelman, a Rooster Teeth veteran) and her director Lenjamin (Nick Rutherford, People You May Know). Once the festival starts, however, the gates are locked and electrified as the emcee (the film’s writer/director, Owen Egerton) announces that the guests will all be murdered by Blood Fest’s costumed employees by sunrise. Before you know it our protagonists are being stalked by vampires, clowns, and zombies in a fight for survival.

On paper, this is a fantastic concept. Dump a bunch of teens in a horror carnival filled with different sub-genres of horror. Kill off a kid each time they travel through one of said Boy Erased sub-genres. Be witty. Make jokes. Blam. Fun midnight movie to see with a crowd. Unfortunately, nothing about Blood Fest is witty. You can practically feel the film winking at you every time a character utters a one-liner or makes a comment about the rules of horror. Watching it, you imagine Egerton and Co. patting themselves on the backs after every take.

There is a smugness that fills nearly every frame of Blood Fest. The film grinds to a halt every time a joke is uttered, almost as if the film is holding for applause. This wouldn’t be as bothersome if the film was actually clever, but it’s not. There is a way to do meta commentary in horror movies but Blood Fest is so full of itself that 95% of the jokes don’t land. The few times a joke does work Egerton hammers it into the ground (a joke about Zachary Levi‘s voice work on Disney’s Tangled inspires a chuckle The Sisters Brothers at first but stops being funny after the fourth or fifth time it is brought up in the span of 2 minutes). The film just tries so hard to be clever that you almost feel bad for it because it isn’t. At all. Humor is subjective though, so there may be some viewers that find Blood Fest a laugh riot. Who am I to say?

Duration: 86 min


IMDb: 4.5

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The Cabin
The Cabin