Whatever happened to Linda Blair? Everyone knows her from ‘The Exorcist’ and its sequel that we never talk about, but what else did she do?
You can look online for that answer. The movie of hers that we will be exploring at the moment is ‘Hell Night.’
Marti (Linda Blair), Seth (Vincent Van Patten), Denise (Suki Goodwin), and Jeff (Peter Barton) are four new pledges at a college party. Peter (Kevin Brophy) is the president of the local fraternity who decides that these four need some initiating. They must stay in the haunted Garth Manor. A family was murdered there years ago, though one of the sons may or may not have survived. That’s what makes the house haunted!
Our four unsuspecting students are left in the house and have to remain there until the next morning. Peter and his fraternity brothers all plan to have some fun at the initiates’ expense by supplying the ghostly scares. The problem is that people actually start winding up dead. Could the dead family’s youngest son, Andrew, really be alive? What do you think?
There is no real mystery about the killer’s identity. The back story is laid out early on and when a hulking (mostly dimly-lit) figure starts doing violent things to the unsuspecting students, it is self-explanatory. This isn’t a problem as this is never really billed as a whodunnit, though that approach could have been intriguing. The obligatory ‘gathering of bodies around a table’ scene is present and accounted for. This just further spells out what we suspect and definitively confirms the killer.
Maybe it isn’t that much, but it seems as though quite a bit of time is spent searching/running in the dark. There is usually a purpose and a payoff to it, but a viewer with a stopwatch might want to put it to the test.
Would a police station really leave a room with a dozen different high-powered guns, not only unlocked, but ajar and in the path of anyone to encounter? In another scene, if you think that the killer is right below you, why would you loudly announce your next move?
Linda Blair’s inclusion is one of the most publicized aspects of the film, if not the most publicized. She was certainly old enough to try something different and to separate herself from the ‘Exorcist’ roles. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here a lot of running around and screaming. Sounds logical, given the situation. The rest of the cast is adequate, no Oscars earned but no one embarrasses themselves.
Special features include: nothing.
‘Hell Night’ is a solid little horror movie. There are some flaws, as almost all of these fright fests have but it is shockingly a lot better than one would have expected.
Rated R 101 minutes 1981