"Hell Fest" Made Me Nostalgic for the Good Old Days

I watched Hell Fest, a 2018 slasher movie currently streaming on Netflix. It made me miss the good old days.

In the movie, a group of teens visit a horror-themed amusement park during Halloween. They run into a masked killer who proceeds to stalk and murder them one by one. The movie had its moments, but ultimately I found it formulaic. The violence was more graphic than I like.

Photo: Netflix.com
To be clear, I'm not a fan of haunted houses, let alone an entire Halloween-themed amusement park. I was put off haunted houses forever after visiting one in Eugene, Ore., run by the Jaycees. It was such an intense experience and I was so terrified that I’ve never been able to step in another haunted house since.

Despite that, I found myself jealous of the protagonists while I was watching the movie. Not about being stalked by a mad man who likes sharp objects, of course. What I envied was the teens’ unbridled freedom to mingle shoulder-to-shoulder with total strangers in a large crowd and have fun. No social distancing. No worries about catching Covid-19. (I will say that quite a few people in the movie wore masks, including the killer.)

We used to take that freedom for granted. Remember fun fairs? Sports events? Going to the movies? Concerts? What about a simple neighborhood cookout?

Some people continue to hang out in large groups or participate in group activities without taking precautions. But most sensible people are trying to be responsible and staying home as much as they can. They get it. They know it’s only a matter of time before we beat the pandemic.

I'm waiting patiently with everyone else. I'm just surprised by how much I miss being part of a crowd.


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