New Horror Releases: Meta to the Core: Blood Fest (2018) Reviewed

When a horror convention goes bad, things get ugly. 

Premiering at SXSW last night, TMS had the chance to check out the latest feature from up and coming director, Owen Egerton. Delivering on a wild premise, Egerton mostly succeeds at filling an hour and a half with unique kills, pain fueled destruction, and plenty of tongue in cheek jabs. Austin based Rooster Teeth definitely put their all into their latest creation. 

Yeah. That just happened. 

Like a well oiled meta machine, Blood Fest finds a sweet balance between satire, comedy, and gore soaked action that plays perfectly to its hardcore genre audience. Spinning a rabid fandom into a modern story that revolves around death and mayhem ultimately works like a charm in a movie that's obviously directed by someone that admires old school slashers as well as the torturous films that inhabited the early '00s. Every sub-genre gets touched on as actor Tate Donovan continues his penchant for snide creeps. With freakish characters that replicate the best of masked killers, the most evil haunters, and hellish environments, this Blood Fest is a total blast that stars former Falling Skies star Seychelle Gabriel and Heroes Reborn actor Robbie Kay. 

Poking fun at the conventions and fans of horror, this new production from Rooster Teeth rides a fine line that crosses the humor of Zombieland with the unleashed malevolent forces of Cabin in the Woods, churning out a wild spectacle that never holds back. Probably made on a shoestring indie budget, Blood Fest features a really cool take on some of horror's biggest killers and evil doers. When a batch of unwieldy baddies are unleashed at a massive event, things get ugly...and fast. Humans are sawed in half. Tropes are dispatched a mile a minute. And delicious blood spurts everywhere. A rag tag crew of devout fans must survive a plot that's definitely familiar but still enjoyable. 

Smells like bacon. 

Using broad creative strokes to let the audience know we're all in on the joke, Blood Fest is never quite as smart as some of its predecessors but remains goofy and brutal throughout. Breaking away from the mainstream, the people behind the project knew exactly when to go for the throat. There are some great visual effects elements here that are topped off by some top notch make up work that begins to ramp up as the film hits its stride. The comparisons to Cabin in the Woods will be immediately apparent for most, but this is way more lighthearted, even as it makes some uneven plot choices. 

I haven't had this much fun with horror.....since....well...The Tragedy Girls. If you're looking for something cool to watch that doesn't ask too much of your brain, check this one out. Blood Fest is a nod to those of us that love our horror injected straight into our veins. Don't go in expecting greatness and you'll come out ahead. 

Check back this week for our interview with Seychelle Gabriel.