Sunday, March 24, 2019

Another Haunt. Another Maniac On The Loose: American Fright Fest (2018)

American Fright Fest (2018) (AKA "Fright Fest")
Rating: *1/2
Starring: Dylan Walsh, Romeo Miller, Madison McKinley

A small town mayor decided to turn a nearby abandoned asylum into a haunt for Halloween night as a way to put their town in the map, giving him the chance of being re-elected. For that extra touch, he hires a sleazy and obnoxious horror director Spencer Crowe (Dylan Walsh of Nip/Tuck), who's kinda struggling to get his luster back in the fright flick game, to run this project.

At opening night, however, Crowe accidentally causes a transport bus full of whackos from another nearby asylum to crash whilst snorting coke during his drive, unknowingly killing most of its occupants save for three. (Soon to be just two) Crowe simply drives off as if nothing happened, not knowing that the two survivors happens to be mental patients now freely making their way to his haunt. One of them decks out a mask and an arsenal of pointy weapons (and a gun) to start thinning down the guests and staff, the other goes on full Ahab-mode determined to kill off his fellow bus crash survivor to satisfy a very questionable vendetta.

On paper, American Fright Fest (2018) sounds like it could go somewhere given it'll get the proper direction and execution needed to be a fun horror film but, sadly, the resulting product lacks both. The movie's more of an overly long cat-and-mouse chase on a hasted pace, with most of its casualties being random bystanders ended with lackluster kills, accumulating to nothing but just a high body count and an unsatisfying conclusion that left a couple of interesting development just hanging there unresolved, one being Crowe growing unhinged (either due to being high on weed or just upset with how his movies are turning out lately) and starts enjoying the carnage he is seeing through the control room he locked himself in, to the point he's willing to lead a few of his staff to the killer's clutches.

The only good thing I can take from this is that actor Pacho Moler ("Sick-Head" from Rob Zombie's 31 (2010)) did an amazing job playing a likable assistant to Walsh's character. Past that, American Fright Fest (2018) just fails to make an impact nor make itself properly entertaining for my taste, not with how bland and tiresome its overall tone felt. In fact, I think I'm better off re-watching Hooper's The Funhouse (1980) or the underrated 2018 slasher Hell Fest to satisfy my maniac-loose-in-haunt fix, and I think it would go the same for you.

1 elderly male shot on the head with a shotgun
1 elderly female shot with a shotgun
5 males killed in car crash
1 male shot on the face with a shotgun
1 male repeatedly headbutted, pounded to death
1 female strangled, neck crushed
1 male gets a knife through underneath his jaw, gutted
1 male killed, method unknown
1 female had her neck snapped
1 male electrocuted with an electrode to the head
1 male killed offcamera
1 male hacked to death mostly offscreen with an axe
1 male hacked with an axe, arm cut off
1 male gets the back of his head cut with a scalpel, killed
1 female stabbed to death with a scalpel
1 male shot on the head
1 female presumably killed with a machete
2 males hacked to death with an axe
3 males and 1 female shot to death
7 victims slaughtered mostly offscreen with a chainsaw
1 male hacked on the chest with an axe
2 males and 1 female shocked to death on an electrified bed frame
1 male gets a hunting knife forced into his nape
1 male shocked to death on an electrified bed frame
1 male seen being electrocuted to death with an electrode to the head
1 female gets a knife forced into her neck, shot with a shotgun
1 male brained with an axe head, bled to death
1 male seen killed
1 male shocked to death against an electrified bed frame
Total: 44

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