This rare slasher film that’s not a sequel to or remake of a previous one exploits the premise of a traveling Halloween carnival being infiltrated by an actual masked killer, who avoids detection by blending in with the hired scarers. Directed by Gregory Plotkin (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension) from a screenplay with five names attached to it, the film is free of subtext and provides only minimal backstory: College student Natalie (Amy Forsyth), her best friend Brooke (Reign Edwards), Brooke’s sarcastic punk roommate Taylor (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and their respective male love interests go to the Hell Fest amusement park on Halloween night, where they—but Natalie in particular—are stalked by a Michael Myers-ish figure. The scares are modestly effective, and the between-scares scenes of six lively young people horsin’ around at a spook alley are tolerable. Horror stalwart Tony Todd (the Candyman himself) has a one-scene cameo, as if to give the potential new franchise its bona fides. Could have used more themed kills (smashing someone’s head with an oversized “test your strength” mallet is all we get), but slasher movies are like trick-or-treat candy: You can’t be too choosy.
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Producer: Gale Anne Hurd, Tucker Tooley, Phillip Kobylanski and Greg Renker
Cast: Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Christian James, Roby Attal, Matt Mercurio and Tony Todd