August 19, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Hell'

Hell (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Creator of blockbusters aplenty, some better than others, Roland Emmerich is the Executive Producer of this fine German movie, although whether or not that is a good selling point is completely open to debate though. What is for sure though is that Hell is a very worthy addition to the post-apocalyptic film genre.

Hell is a German film, and the title makes a little more sense once you realize that Hell means Bright in German, and focuses on a future where the temperature of the planet has been raised 10 degrees due to the Sun. In all honestly though, the title works in both respects as, due to the Sun’s heat and subsequent brightness, Hell is a very fitting visual of how things now look.

The very simple plot, which will be familiar to fans of the PA genre, follows Marie, her sister Leonie and a fellow named Phillip, as they attempt to journey to the mountains. Rumor has it that they will find water here, which of course is in short supply, so they head out on their journey in Phillip’s beaten up car, complete with covered up windows.

The film then follows the mandatory gas station stop, an encounter with a mysterious thief and also a gang of less than savory characters. As I mention, it’s a simple plot and one that has many familiar elements to it. Movies such as Mad Max, The Road and The Book of Eli, among others all came to mind whilst watching it. However, just because Hell does not have the most original structure does not mean that it was not an enjoyable movie.

It was in fact most enjoyable, with the sense of heat and intense light from the Sun being most evident on screen. This is a very bright movie by the way! Director Tim Fehlbaum really has done a terrific job in creating a bleak and barren landscape, on what I suspect was a fairly limited budget, and the small cast all put in decent enough performances.

With all the elements that do work in the film, I did find it a shame though that the pacing seemed to be constant throughout; there were rarely any moments where the film broke free from its pedestrian pace. Even when the film called for scenes of tension or action, it remained fairly constant, and as such comes across as a little frustrating.

Still, pacing issues aside, Hell actually turned out to be a most enjoyable entry to this genre, even if it isn’t the most original movie ever made.

Hell is released on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, Blu-ray and DVD on August 21st through Arc Entertainment.


Maynard Morrissey said...

Fully agree with you. A solidly entertaining post-apocalpyse flick, and surely one of the better German genre-films of the last years.

Juliana said...

this movie is really cool!
xoxo, Juliana