Vincente DiSanti’s fan film is set in the Friday the 13th universe. Hiker/adventurer Kyle McLeod hosts a video blog for outdoor enthusiasts. When he ventures into the forests of New Jersey, he accidentally discovers signs for Camp Crystal Lake. Curious about the folklore and history of the camp, Kyle decides to venture deeper into the property. This is never a good idea, especially when hiking alone.
Although independently produced as a fan film, the plot, acting, production value and vitually everything else is better than what we saw in several Friday the 13th sequels. The fifth installment, ‘ A New Beginning’ was not only a terrible movie with annoying characters, it looked like it was filmed with a hand held camera from the 1960’s. The 2009 remake had a ton of money behind it but apparently didn’t have a budget for a decent screenplay. ‘Never Hike Alone’ is well-written with a nice balance of found-footage material and traditional third-person views. There is also some beautiful scenery. All of this makes it a better film than the two aforementioned pieces of garbage.
The cast is incredibly small and Drew Leighty and DiSanti carry most of the story as Kyle and Jason, respectively. DiSanti is especially convincing, duplicating Jason’s mannerisms. When it comes to visual effects, the Jason make-up is admirable, giving the audience a glimpse of Jason’s always healthy appearance. The movie is stunt driven without a lot of gore. The stunts are impressive and the minimal gore is still a lot of fun.
‘Never Hike Alone’ is an independent fan film but it rivals several Friday the 13th sequels with an original, interesting story. It is a must see for any fan of the Camp Crystal Lake saga.
As of this writing, ‘Never Hike Alone’ is available for free at https://www.wompstompfilms.com.
Appropriate gore 8
Production Value 9
Final Cut Score: 43 = 86%