Is there anything the horror community can agree on more than a good ole’ meta movie? Horror fans have spent their entire lives surrounded by slashers, paranormal ghoulies, and psychological mind benders. We’ve learned them in and out, and know every beat. It’s hard to throw a curveball to a horror audience (Unless you’re an anomaly like M Knight Shyamalan). Meta horror tries to squeak in under the radar. The sub-genre is founded on taking what you know, and turning it on its head. Films like Scream, Cabin in the Woods, Final Girls, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and now – Blood Fest.
Blood Fest isan already wild party where someone has spiked the punch. An original horror film from writer/director (and ringleeder) Owen Egerton, Blood Fest finds its roots in comedy, and will be released through Rooster Teeth’s video-on-demand service. Blood Fest is the latest in a resurgence of modern, meta horror films trying to tap directly into the horror community. And it’s going to get them where they live. Horror Conventions.
“Blood Fest isan already wild party where someone has spiked the punch.”
Blood Fest follows Dax (Robbie Kay, TV’s Once Upon A Time), who, despite a dark past involving the sudden and violent passing of his mother, grows up obsessed with horror movies. Alongside his quirky chums; the hilariously dorky Krill (Jacob Batalon, Spider-Man: Homecoming), and the cooler-than-school Sam (Seychelle Gabriel, The Last Airbender), they develop a plot to get into the inaugural year of Blood Fest – advertised as the most happening horror festival of all time.
One, small setback – Blood Fest has long since sold out, and Dax’s over-protective, horror-hating dad (Tate Donovan) has destroyed his wrist band. The gang quickly drum up a plot, pleading with soon-to-be-starlet Ashley (Barbara Dunkelman) who happens to be attending Blood Festpromoting her upcoming role as ‘Topless Girl #4’, to sneak Dax inside the gates. She reluctantly agrees, and ropes her narcissistic director Lenjamin (Nicholas Rutherford) into pulling some strings.
Once inside the gates, the three horror fiends are living the dream. And I mean really living the dream (#Jealous). Blood Fest is the most spectacular, extravagant horror festival this horror fan has ever set her eyes on. Blood Fest is even more unique in that it’s barricaded on its own compound. Once the party starts, the gates are locked. No one can get in. Or, out.
In the first event of the night, charming ringleader Walsh (Owen Egerton), welcomes the teams of screaming horror fans to their fate. The festivities are a lot more sinister than Blood Fest passholders could ever have imagined. The first party of the night kicks off, and blood is shed – but is is real or is it all a show?
Nope. Definitely real.
Our macabre host conducts a wall of Bodyguards in animal masks. They spring forward, wielding chainsaws and advancing on a packed audience. A sufficiently deadly ninja slices and dices their way through the crowd. There is blood. So much so, that one could argue the fictional ‘Blood Fest‘ will indeed live up to its expectations. But Walsh isn’t here to celebrate horror films, he’s here to make one.
As Dax, Krill and Sam realize the gravity of their predicament, they do what anyone would do in this situation. They pull out a park map. Our horror-loving heroes are several themed ‘zones’ to the exit, and like Sarah in Jim Henson’s TheLabyrinth or Clay and Lizzie in R.L Stine’s ‘One Day At Horrorland‘ there are many foes to thwart along the way.
“[Blood Fest] is deliciously gory, leans into the tropes with a solid wink and a nod, and serves up a fun adventure that budding horror fans will surely eat up. “
Blood Festdefinitelydelivers the festivities. The film is deliciously gory, leans into the tropes with a solid wink and a nod, and serves up a fun adventure that budding horror fans will surely eat up. My predictions are that slasher fans will find themselves particularly fond of the ‘Harborist‘ section of the park, and creature-design lovers will fall for a particular clown in ‘Circus Town’. There are many sights and frights to be had in Blood Fest, and even though thousands of horror fans didn’t make it out alive, I still got to the end wishing I had a ticket.