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Film / Hell Night

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"Pray for day!"

A Slasher Movie from 1981, directed by Tom DeSimone and starring Linda Blair.

The film centers around four new Alpha Sigma Rho fraternity kids, who in a part of an initiation ceremony are locked up in the abandoned Garth Manor. Supposedly, the former owner of the place killed his family and hung himself several years ago, and his remaining heir is still hiding within the manor walls. Unfortunately for our cast, someone is lurking within the place.

Unrelated to the 1996 Survival Horror game of the same name.

This film contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Denise keeps calling Seth "Wes", much to his annoyance.
  • Alliterative Name: Denise Dunsmore, the naughtier female newbie of the Alpha Sigma Rho.
  • Ankle Drag: The killer captures May by her leg (through a tunnel that she was warned about earlier), and she is dragged underground and gets her head chopped off as she screams helplessly.
  • Big Bad: The killer within Garth Manor. Make that killers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The two killers in Garth Manor are dead, but Marti is the only one of the partygoers who lives to see the day.
  • Cassandra Truth: Due to his fraternity's excessive partying and pranks, the cops won't believe Seth when he tries to tell them what happened at Garth Manor. He then steals a confiscated shotgun from them, and rushes back.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Marti tells Jeff early in the movie that she's a mechanic. This comes in handy when she has to jumpstart the car.
  • Closed Circle: Closing the gates to the Garth Manor is part of the initiation.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of one DVD version depicts Linda Blair's character as a menacing figure with yellow eyes, which isn't the case as she is the protagonist.
  • Cue the Sun: The film ends just after sunrise.
  • Dangerous Windows: As Marti climbs down a wall, the killer tries to grab her through a window.
  • Deadly Hazing: The fraternity pledges have to last a night in a spooky house where a Pater Familicide apparently occurred years previously. A killer actually, two killers is stalking the grounds and kills everyone but Marti.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Scott, Peter's accomplice in scaring the new Alpha Sigma Rho members, is dressed as a pirate for the celebrating festivities, complete with a fake Pirate Parrot on his shoulder.
  • Driven to Suicide: According to Peter's story, Raymond Garth hung himself after killing most of his family prior to the events of the film.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: As Marti and Jeff as they ponder about things and think they're safe, the killer slowly rises from a trap door beneath the carpet behind them.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Peter is a little shaken by Scott's Nightmare Fetishist tendencies, thinking that he's enjoying the pranks they're playing a little too much.
  • Final Girl: Marti is the only person to survive the both killers.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Marti offs the remaining killer by driving towards the broken gate, impaling the guy.
    • Peter is also killed this way, being impaled with a scythe against the hedge maze.
  • Masquerade Ball: The film begins with the Alpha Sigma Rho fraternity having a costume party.
  • Mirror Scare: Peter tries to pull this off to Denise by displaying trick imagery on the mirror that she's using, but it fails as she ignores it.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Seth spends a notable portion of the movie either shirtless or in underwear. Even when fighting back against the killer, his shirt's torn open.
  • Ms. Fanservice: While the nudity for this kind of film is non-existent, Denise makes up for it by appearing in lingerie in every other scene.
  • Neck Snap: Preparing for a scare of the new Alpha Sigma Rho members, Scott hears a strange sound on the roof of Garth Manor. He goes to investigate, finds the source, and gets his head twisted around his neck.
  • Never Recycle a Building: The Garth Manor has been abandoned for 12 years, making it suitable for Alpha Sigma Rho's initiation ritual.
  • Not Quite Dead: Seth struggles with the killer as he returns to the grounds with a shotgun, and shoots him. The killer rises once more, and Seth shoots him once more.
  • Off with Her Head!: May gets decapitated in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.
  • Outside Ride: Marti finds out that she has an unwarranted passenger in her car as she tries to make an escape from the Garth Manor.
  • The Reveal: There are two (likely related) killers prowling the Garth Manor grounds.
  • Sex Signals Death: Denise and Seth have sex during the film and both die. The more chaste Marti survives, but Jeff (who implicitly wants to have sex with Marti but decides not to) doesn't.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Averted. Seth tries to break the lock to the gate of Garth Manor by shooting it with the gun that Peter gave him but finds out that it is filled with blanks.
  • Sinister Scythe: Peter, thinking that he is eluding the danger, gets a scythe-blade struck on his chest.
  • Slashed Throat: After returning from the bathroom, Seth finds Denise's corpse with her throat cut on their bed.
  • Surfer Dude: Seth, thanks to his lingo.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Seth, once he gets together with Denise, wears only boxers he tries to have sex with her.
  • Wrench Wench: Marti who has worked in her father's garage during high school. Her expertise in cars comes in handy when she has to get the car that Seth used to get back into the Garth manor into working order.