Indie Horror Movie Review: HELL TOWN (2015)

Hello again, ghosts and ghouls!  I have a question for you: have you ever watched a horror film with such disdain over the cheesiness, bad acting, and awful plot line?  You have?! That’s awesome; me too.  There’s something about the horror genre that just warrants such awkward, bad movies because people don’t think things through… continuity errors, kills that just aren’t plausible, bad acting that makes it look more like that football player is having way too much fun getting murdered…where in the world is the movie that makes fun of all of that?!

Oh wait, that’s what I’m reviewing! HELL TOWN is the story of a small town where the crazed “Letter Jacket Killer” is running amok murdering high school students left and right.  The killer has a tactic though, it seems: murder all of the people who have slept with Trish Gable.  Wish is almost everyone.

If you’ve watched “Degrassi”, you’ve watched a decent amount of HELL TOWN.  It’s the quintessential story of high school students trying to fight their way through the confusion over sex, sexuality, popularity, and all around awkwardness, all the while trying not to get murdered. The most fun part about this film, though, is the fact that it’s three “episodes” in one feature-length film.  Yes, there are “commercials”, and they’re great.

The look of the film is so fun – it really does look like a TV show you would see back when you were in high school.  I graduated in 2011 and religiously watched “Degrassi”, and shows like “Unfabulous” (yes, the old Emma Roberts show), where you were completely exposed to the weird world of high schools on television where the situations weren’t always that realistic, but you always learned some life lesson.  I felt transported back to my years in high school watching HELL TOWN, and I also learned that you shouldn’t ever stand in the way of, um, “true love”.

I also have to throw in here that I almost died over how hilarious it was that they replaced a character with a totally different actress and pointed it out, just like in “Roseanne” when they replaced Becky (but they tried to play it off like it didn’t happen).  Like I said, it’s a feature-length film that points out every hilarious flaw in TV shows about kids in high school.

My only issue within this entire hour-and-a-half film (because I really, truly did enjoy this), was that by the end of the third “episode”, I was kind of just waiting for it to be over.  It’s a little bit repetitive as it goes along, which is okay (because they do recap the previous episode in each “new episode”), but at a point I was ready to just find out what was going on and have it be over and done with.

It also sort of seemed, at times, like there wasn’t enough content to make a full feature film, so every once in a while things would get REALLY drawn out (or they would throw in one of those commercials, or the little break in between would just seem a little bit too long).

All in all, HELL TOWN is a really fun movie with a format I’ve never seen before, a fun storytelling and a cast of hilarious “bad” actors (because I think they’re all great at being awful).  If you’re looking for a film that you don’t need to think so hard about, or you’ve just finished TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL and you’re looking for another good horror comedy that’s off the radar, give HELL TOWN a watch.  But make sure you haven’t slept with Trish, otherwise the Letter Jacket killer’s going to come looking for you!!

Taylor Krauss
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