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2004 / Horror
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7.0 / 10
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Directed by Paul Etheredge
Written by Paul Etheredge
Starring Dylan Fergus, Bryan Kirkwood, Hank Harris, Andrew Levitas, Matt Phillips and Kent Bradley James

Halloween in West Hollywood, two guys making out in a park are interrupted by a serial killer. Later that night, a group of gay kids decide to visit to the site of the murders, only to find the murderer still there.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Slasher
Hellbent (2004)
Review by Michael Mahoney

7 / 10
When I first saw this, I was pretty impressed with it, especially with it being both a lower-budget slasher, along with being more oriented toward the LGBT community (if I recall, I think I saw this first on LOGO). Even if you're not gay, though, I think you could probably get some enjoyment, albeit mild, out of this film.

Taking place during the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival, the story itself is somewhat thin. A masked man follows and begins to kill off a group of four gay guys with a scythe. It does take about forty or so minutes after the initial kill to really pick up, which gives us some character building, which, given the characters in question are mostly interesting (especially to someone who has limited experiences in what I'd call 'alternative lifestyles'), works out well.

Dylan Fergus is pretty sympathetic as the main character, and has a nice background to him. I felt worse for Hank Harris' character, though, especially after being turned down by his crush in a club. Harris, on a side-note, seems to be the only actor here who still appears in movies, which is sort of interesting. Lastly, playing the killer (of whom no background is given at all), Kent Bradley James certainly plays the threatening type well.

For the most part, I liked the kills, though, for decapitations, there were a bit light on blood. What probably didn't help was that at times, the lackluster lighting caused a few scenes to come across as rather dingy. Another slight issue I had was with the utter lack of information on the killer - I liked his physique and style, but we don't learn a thing about him. I get the appeal, but that always sort of bothered me a bit. Sadly, the last few seconds are pretty laughable also, which is a shame, as the rest of the finale was actually pretty thrilling.

From my understanding, Hellbent isn't the first gay-themed slasher, but it does seem to be one of the most well-known ones. It certainly adds an interesting twist on what otherwise would be a pretty by-the-numbers slasher. Ultimately, I think it's just about average, and personally, I don't know if it has a whole lot of rewatchability. That said, it's worth at least that first viewing.
Other Slasher movies that you may enjoy

Camp Twilight (2020)

Cat Sick Blues (2015)

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

All Through the House (2015)
More releases from 2004 for you to check out

Satan's Little Helper (2004)

Seed of Chucky (2004)

Dead Man's Shoes (2004)

Malevolence (2004)

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