Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hell Night

I am taking a break from my Friday the 13th reviews in order to join in on Final Girl’s filmclub.  The selection this time around was Hell Night.  I actually already had this movie added to my instant queue, so this was a great excuse to watch it.

In Hell Night, we follow four fraternity pledges: Marti (played by Linda Blair), Jeff, Seth and Denise.  Marti is kind of chubby and shy.  Denise is British and kind of slutty.  Jeff is kind of quiet and kind of noble (but that might just be his costume).  And Seth is outgoing and kind of a man-slut.  

The pledges, before being forced to run for their lives.  L-R: Seth as Robin Hood, Denise as a flapper, Jeff as a gentleman cowboy, and Marti as a Victorian woman

Together, they are locked in the grounds of the Garth Manor: a local mansion with a dark history.  According to the local legend, twelve years prior, Raymond Garth killed his wife and three of his four children (all of whom had major birth defects), and then hung himself.  Only one of his children survived (Andrew, a child who only communicated by a series of grunts), and they say that he still lives on the ground.  So the pledges have to spend the night on the grounds.
Of course, the people responsible for this idea stick around the house and attempt to scare the pledges.  They have speakers set up and pipe strange sounds through them.  They set up triggers to open and close doors automatically. 
But before too long, people actually start dying.  It appears as though Andrew is still alive and in the house.

It’s pretty standard from there.  Seth and Denise hook up.  Marti and Jeff do not.  They are chased through the house (and the catacombs under the house) by Andrew.  Seth is able to escape from the house and make it to the police department, but they don’t take him seriously, so he ends up stealing a shotgun and returning to the house.  Can Andrew be killed by the weapons of mortals?  Watch Hell Night and find out!

Seriously.  How could the cops not trust this guy?

I enjoyed this movie.  It wasn’t amazing, but it held my interest throughout the movie.  The four main characters were all pretty likable, which is pretty rare for a horror movie.  I didn’t really feel any major connection with the characters – there really wasn’t much depth to them – but I still liked them, and was rooting for them to make it out alive.  In most horror movies, I usually have at least one person in each group that I think, “I wouldn’t mind seeing them die.”  But this movie was different.

As far as Andrew goes, I kind of liked his look.  There wasn’t really anything special about him, but he kind of looked like a monster.  (Or, more accurately, like a child with a birth defect who had been living alone on the grounds for 12 years by himself, probably eating rats and whatever else he could find.)  When he showed up in this movie, it conjured up visions of some of the old Universal monster movies. 

In fact, the movie itself seemed to borrow from a handful of horror genres.  The three that really stood out to me were:
1. Universal monster movies
2. Haunted house movies
3. Slasher movies
It was interesting to see those three different genres mixed together.

All in all, it was a good movie.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  And the ending was dynamite. 

Rating: 4/5

I end this post with a picture of Denise, because she was fantastic.  And so happy.

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