Never Hike Alone is a Friday the 13th fan film about an adventure blogger; Kyle McLeod, played by Drew Leighty, who ventures into the woods alone and stumbles upon the infamous and abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. Being that Kyle is an adventure blogger, it allows the film to use found footage shots organically that add authenticity and allows for character development of the lead. The film premiered online on October, Friday the 13th; a high holiday right after Halloween, National Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Brunch. And has over 30k views after just it’s first weekend online.
The film is a fresh breath of new life for the long standing franchise. The new perspective of someone going mano a mano with Jason Vorhees, as opposed to him picking off a group of teens one by one, is just the innovative revitalization the franchise needs. The way J.J. Abrams reinvigorated Star Trek, Vincente DiSanti did with Friday the 13th. In short: Never Hike Alone is phenomenal! The execution of this film is exquisite in all aspects. The runtime comes in at about 54 minutes, leaving the audience craving more. The cinematography is gorgeous. The pulse pounding action scenes will keep you at the edge of your seat. Fans will not be disappointed with the healthy amount of Jason, played by writer/director DiSanti himself. The film keeps you engaged from start to finish.
Because this film was made by fans, it was made with the care and attention to detail a franchise needs. As Kyle explores the cabins throughout the abandoned campsite, he comes across markers of crime scenes, which homage to the first few films iconic death scenes. Most notably Kevin Bacon’s demise from the first film. This is a clear example of someone who understands the franchise and gives the audience what it wants, something that many Hollywood films lack when milking a series just for cash. Companies like Legion M make movies for fans by fans, and perhaps more franchises need to look into taking a fan’s point of view when considering their next film. DiSanti’s passion and expertise is clear in every frame, and that passion is what’s needed to create a home-run like Never Hike Alone.
You can check out the full film below.