Thursday, 25 July 2013

Film #10: Hell (15)


Released: 2011
Directed by: Tim Fehlbaum
Original title: Hell (Bright)

In the very near future, global warming has stripped the Earth of almost all its moisture and natural resources, leaving the remaining population to battle each other and nature in equal measure. Marie (Hannah Herzsprung), her sister Leonie (Lisa Vicari) and boyfriend Phillip (Lars Eidinger) are making their way to the mountains, the most promising source of water and shelter from the blistering heat. After joining forces with a mysterious stranger, they fall prey to a group of mercenaries and have to tap into their most savage instincts to survive.

I prefer my horrors psychological rather than graphic, so I’m glad some things were left to the imagination rather than being shown in all their blood-stained glory. The visuals can be quite an assault on the eyes – night-time and indoor scenes are sometimes almost too dark to make out, while daytime and outdoor scenes are so bleached and arid that you almost find yourself squinting along with the characters. 

The choice of title proves very apt (although I can’t say whether the wordplay was deliberate) – in German, it refers to the unrelenting glare of the sun, while in English it conveys the descent into horror experienced by the protagonists. A mixture of dystopian horror and “gorenography” (although not as graphic as films such as Saw or Hostel), Hell doesn’t really offer anything new, but is entertaining nonetheless.

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