Hell Night — Film Review

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2 min readMay 10
Film Night — 1981

I wanted to like Hell Night. I wanted to be pulled into the 1980s when teenagers were proud of horror movies and viewed them as something different and independent from the previous generation. The problem is that I could not like Hell Night, no matter how campy it was. In a world of Urban Outfitters, where thrift shops are more in fashion than Prada, you would think that if you have that campy element, you are golden. Unfortunately, campy is becoming like corduroy pants; they were in fashion, went out, came back in, and are now (thank God) back out of style. Being campy is not enough anymore; you have to be original.

There is nothing original about Hell Night. It begins with a group of four pledges that have to sleep in Garth Manor, a creepy mansion that was the scene of gruesome murders. The group comprises the surfer dude, the British slut, the pious bitch, and the all-American boy. Naturally, the surfer dude and British slut hit it off, while the unlikable pious girl (Linda Blair) makes it difficult for the all-American. What proceeds are 50 hours of tedious teases between fake little scares and gruesome deaths. Halfway through the movie, I wanted everyone to die so I could do something else. What makes this film even worse is the acting and complete lack of detail regarding the monster. I realize that Linda Blair is a horror movie legacy, but she is one of the most unlikable characters I have seen in a long time. She is not fun, she is stuck up, her voice is annoying, and I wanted her to die. The monster, with the unique name of Andrew, looks like a sickly Doc Brown. This means that there was no effort put into him. I realize that Andrew is supposed to be deformed, but so is the elephant man, and at least the elephant man looked scary.

If you are drinking and want a horror movie that has some unintentional comedy, this could be it, which is possibly why it has a cult following. If you want an actual horror gem that pushes your horror senses and does not insult your intelligence, then stay far away from this one.

If you liked Hell Night, you might also like Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part III.

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