What starts out as a trip for a group of tourists becomes a living nightmare in this horror film from director Patrick Garcia.

A group of American tourists are heading for Africa for a time of rest and relaxation. The group includes William and his girlfriend Emily; nerdy James; tough guys Bobby and Logan; and sisters Mia and Sarah. Upon their arrival, they meet Adam Shaw, their tour guide who once served as a Marine and knows the area really well. He takes them to a cabin where the group begins to enjoy themselves.

However, when something goes wrong, Adam leaves the group to get some help. The group begins to worry when Adam hasn’t returned. Soon enough, the nightmare is about become a reality when a hulking man in a metal mask begins to hunt down and kill the group one by one. Even more, the group discovers something horrifying within the walls of the cabin and whoever is left must find a way to make it out before they become the next victims.

This is the film that introduced me to South African filmmaker Patrick Garcia. Filmed in 2018, but not released in the U.S. until 2021, there have been many negative reviews of this film. However, it seems like Garcia is a filmmaker who believes in inspiration and it is clear with this film, he’s inspired by classic genre films like Friday the 13th, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and in some way, Turistas to craft this film with George Garcia and make an entertaining horror film that uses all the necessary tropes but adds quite a twist in the third act.

The group of victims, errr…tourists are what you would expect in a horror film. There’s the predictable final girl, her suffering boyfriend, a nerdy character, two tough guys, and two sisters who provide the eye candy. The cast of South African actors do their hardest to pull off American accents and there are a few slips here and there of their natural accents, but it’s forgivable. Garcia definitely adds a touch of the “slow burn” with the tension leading up to what we will get are the kill scenes and those too tend to have that horror trope of a shower death scene with one character getting their demise.

The special effects team, led by Stella and Menio Kalymnios, along with Keletso Mophuthing (who makes a cameo as an African tribesman who makes the group uncomfortable), Hannes Oosthuizen, and Amy van Rooyen do a great job with using practical effects on the kill scenes. There are slashings, disembowelments, and even a shotgun blast to the face that look very convincing. The Kalymnios team would earn a SAFTA in 2021 for their work on the film Triggered and rightfully so as the effects here are definitely A-game for a low budget movie.

Hell Trip may not please everyone, but it is a pretty good homage to isolation and classic genre films that uses the horror tropes really well along with some really good practical effects for the kills. Definitely worth at least checking out.


ACT Films presents a Garcia Films Entertainment production. Director: Patrick Garcia. Producers: Patrick Garcia and George Garcia. Writers: Patrick Garcia and George Garcia. Cinematography: Justus de Jager. Editing: Patrick Garcia.

Cast: Clayton Boyd, Jay Anstey, Jonathan Boynton-Lee, Stevel Marc, Ivan Nedeljkovic, Ryan Flynn, Michelle van der Nest, Jade Hubner, Candace Weber, Sidney Gilroy.