Friday, 11 March 2011


Film: Hell Night ****
Year: 1981
Certificate: 18
Running time: 101 mins
Director: Tom De Simone
Starring: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Jimmy Sturtevant 
Genre: Horror
Format: DVD
Country: USA

"If they manage to stay just one night in a supposedly haunted house, four pledges will be allowed to join the Alpha Sigma Rho fraternity and its sister sorority. While boozed-up, sex-crazed teens outside try to scare the foursome to death, a vengeful monster inside goes one step further...

If you take Hell Night too seriously you'll probably switch off as soon as the monster, half-inched from many Hammer films, drags its awkward frame across screen for the first time. This would be a shame because the film is so much fun, complimented by genuine belly laughs and lots of stalk and slash mayhem, even if blood and nudity is surprisingly lacking.

With inventive set-pieces, atmospheric visuals (it helps that all the characters are wearing fancy dress) and a winning location, Hell Night revels in a cast worth rooting for - Linda Blair, after a shaky introduction, is oddly captivating as Marti, and the other protagonists are also endearing, apart from the Harry Potter look-a-like (no magic, and luckily, no tricks up his sleeves). 

Hokey, camp, but frightfully good fun from beginning to end, director DeSimone manages to create a film that doesn't piss all over the movie that started it all just three years earlier - John Carpenter's outstanding Halloween. It may not be as brutal or as dark, but get a few friends round and allow yourself to indulge in a horror movie that doesn't need a mask to hide its sinister smile."


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