Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Blood Fest

Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda.

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Blood Fest" (2018, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

The Impostor - "One of my favorite films this year, hands down. It's a freakin' "Blood Fest" and I loved it! Every character was fun to watch and either root for or pray die soon. Blood Fest plays out perfectly catering to the horror nerd in us without coming off cringe worthy, which is hard to do. The main character and his friends are perfectly cast. Their acting felt natural, and these were people I wanted to be friends with. The gore and kills aren't especially unique but are super fun to watch. I love horror conventions and going to events like this, so seeing how crazy it would be if the monsters and villains we love were to come to life in different situations and attack us. With me, the only way to make it out is to use the rules and tropes we see in the films to survive. Overall Blood Fest is an exciting, silly fun time. I can't wait to see it again. Day one purchase for sure!" - 6 Stars (Default to 5)

Lord Battle - "A young cast that "knows the rules" of horror movies and comes charmingly close to breaking the 4th wall (over and over) bugs the hell out of me. Blood Fest is totally that kind of film. It even has children lamenting about how they're poorly judged for liking horror films... but some clever self-aware writing transcends being a self-aware horror movie and subtly subverts the cringe trope of the self-aware horror sub-genre... In other words, Blood Fest made me laugh 30% of the time, which I call a huge success." - 3.5 Stars

Huntress - "The beginning of this movie worried me... although I have enjoyed several genre deconstructing movies in the past, this one seemed to have almost no finesse or subtlety to it. But once the story hit its stride and we were exploring the Blood Fest grounds, I was very into it. The narrative settled into Cabin in the Woods style conversation on genre tropes, interspersed with self-aware jokes that didn't make me roll my eyes. It was not obvious where this movie was going and that made the journey so much more fun." - 4 Stars

Matte Black Cat - "A fun subversion on "the rules of horror movies" theme. Goes a touch further into the genre than say Scream or Zombieland do, which I really enjoyed! Though the emotional points felt a bit contrived and the father/son dynamic truly bizarre, Blood Fest manages to keep your attention from start to finish with plenty of gore, one-liners, and loads of nods to the genre. Best if watched in a room filled with snarky horror fans." - 4.5 Stars

Wandering Panda - "Incredible!! I genuinely enjoyed Blood Fest and its self-awareness. I found myself playing along with the rest of the Overlook Creatures on the "rules of horror". It captured the ambiance of horror conventions and I love it!! I would recommend Blood Fest to everybody from casual to hardcore horror fans. Perfect for group screening." - 5 Stars

Math Mage - "I feel like I like this film but I have nothing but mean things to say about it. The main character was particularly irritating, his defining characteristics being "obnoxious horror trivia geek" and "feeling sorry for himself". His arc consisted of learning to stand up to his dad and nothing else. I would complain that he took screen time away from more interesting characters but there weren't any (the supporting cast consisted of ethnic girlfriend/action girl, even lamer best friend/tech support, dumb blonde, and 3 versions of the asshole who dies.). Also annoying: several times a question presented itself (Where did you get people to do this? How zombies?) and it was immediately answered in far too much detail, despite there being more than enough info organically in the dialogue. I laughed out loud at many cool moments but cringed through most of the film due to terrible acting." - 3.5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

I try to approach every film with an open mind. I've learned that sometimes this is simply impossible. I strongly dislike comedies. I extra strongly dislike comedies that crutch on short form pop-culture jokes (i.e. Family Guy, Deadpool). After reading the synopsis for Blood Fest provided on IMDB, I pretty much disliked the film already.

The Math Mage's quote I pulled for the poster is important because it's honest. Combine that with what Matte Black Cat said about enjoying this film in a group and you sum up both my and Math Mage's experience. Blood Fest was a lot of fun to screen. The film seems to carelessly do everything you thought it would... except it actually does none of those things. The opening of the film could have lead us anywhere (which I loved) but we end up at a video rental place (or a comic book store?) where our misfit crew of modern, not so nerdy nerds meets up. From this point on the horror trivia starts flying and since we've seemingly fallen back in line with the setting/tropes you were expecting from the beginning, a solo viewer may check out here, which would be terrible.

The charm of Blood Fest lies within the rubble of the broken fourth wall. The plot and characters are given this touch of genius wit that managed to entertain the four quadrant crowd and also read the (as Matte Black Cat called it) "Snarky Horror Fans" in attendance and answer 90% of the questions yelled out. Math Mage's mention of "several times a question presented itself (Where did you get people to do this? How zombies?) and it was immediately answered in far too much detailed, despite there being more than enough info organically in the dialogue" surprised me, since he is a huge fan of MST3K and a practitioner of their form of movie viewing. So he basically sounds upset that every time he yelled out a question (meant to be an insult in the form of pointing out what he thought were obvious oversights) they immediately and literally had a character deliver an answer. Or just ask the question themselves. I personally thought this was genius and felt it was a kinda "fuck you" to the snarky, cynical, and closed minded horror fan that I was in the beginning of this feature. I cringe at boner comedies, Psyched, and anything Judd Apatow, but call me stupid for thinking I know-it-all in subtext and you win me over instantly.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a special screening on 8/9/2018
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

No comments:

Post a Comment