The Friday the 13th franchise of films are among the most notorious sets of movies in modern cinema. Since the release of the very first film, audiences have been obsessed with one of the best mad men of the horror genre: Jason Voorhees. There's been twelve movies, countless novels, comics, action figures and even video games based off the beast that is Jason. The franchise is one of the best - not only in horror but in cinema as a collective - so when a badass studio called Womp Stomp Films decided to put together a Friday the 14th fan film, there was no decision of 'if' I was going to watch it, it was going to be 'when' I see it. NEVER HIKE ALONE is that fan film, and it is the best kept secret of independent released movies to date.
Never Hike Alone follows Kyle McLeod, a young dude who is on a solo backpacking trip, filming his experiences, as well as tips and tricks, along the way for his viewers. McLeod's guide book leads him to a beautiful brush, seemingly in the middle of no where. It doesn't take long before he stumbles upon a battered sign that reads "Camp Crystal Lake" and he realizes that his guidebook has led him to a place where a frightening legend is harvested. McLeod briefly tells the story of Jason Voorhees before wandering deeper into the abandonded camp grounds, camera in hand. And before you know it, Kyle is on the run of his life trying to escape the deadly clutches of the biggest and the baddest, Jason. Will he survive the night and make it out of the woods?! Or will Jason disembowel him and leave him to rot?!
First off, let me note that this "fanfilm" isn't your traditional fan film - it is a beautifully shot, professionally written and acted, full length film. Running just a few minutes short of an hour, you wouldn't be able to tell at first glance that this movie wasn't a Hollywood production - honestly! Everything about it screams professional; the first sign these guys knew exactly what they were doing and set out to do. The story is incredibly well written and established early on, and its terrifying - it's one man vs one monster this time around, and poor Kyle is on his own if he wants to escape the clutches of Jason. It was an excellent choice to make this movie a 1v1 - it just adds to the wild factor. Kyle McLeod - played by Andrew Leighty - is a pretty likable dude, and his dedication to his interest is awesome but it unfortunately led him right into the arms of the most brutal badass of our time. Never Hike Alone wastes no time with a lame buffer to the story - before you know it, ALL THE THINGS you love about the Friday the 13th films are jumping (quite literally!) at you! ALL the good Jason moves and details are packed into this best of the best fan film. Without giving away too much, I'll just say if you even slightly like the Jason movies, you'll find something to love about Never Hike Alone. Jason's attacks are monsterous, and Kyle's reactions are sick. The manhunt is a brutal, terrifying journey not only for McLeod but for the viewers as well!
You can honestly tell that the people behind this film are, without a doubt, true fans of the original films. They knew what to include, what to leave out, and exactly how to capture the horrifying essence of Voorhees himself. Speaking of Jason, we definitely have to address how fucking awesome he looks and acts. He is built like his predecessors and moves like his predecessors - yet another thing flawlessly executed by Womp Stomp Films. His attacks and brutal and bloody, just how we like 'em!! The studio didn't skimp out on making sure Never Hike Alone lives up to the bloody messes you expect from a Friday the 13th movie too!
Overall, Never Hike Alone has to be THE most well made, well written, well acted, and perfectly executed fan films of all time. If you threw this film in a physical theater, I'd be surprised if a single person could point out it was made on a fraction of a Hollywood budget. It encompasses EVERYTHING there is to love about Jason Voorhees and pays homage to all the notorious slasher films we know and love. I can't recommend this movie enough, and even regret it took me as long as it did to watch it! Never Hike Alone is a MUST SEE film of 2017, and guess what - it's free to watch for anybody and everybody! The movie streams is live for everyone to watch on the studios YouTube page - just to sweeten the deal!
Check out the trailer for the film below - the full length movie is available now on YouTube for your viewing pleasure! If you like what you see please consider supporting the fine folks at Womp Stomp Films and spreading the word about Never Hike Alone to your friends and family - the more people and support of this film, the better! And feel free to share your thoughts on social media - we'd love to talk Voorhees with you