|Release: 2011, Rating: R, Runtime: 89 min.|
Hell is exactly that, a hellish movie and one who’s future I hope we never see. A post-apocalyptic tale from the far land of Germany, Hell is a stylish and frightening glimpse into the fragile nature of humanity.
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: In the not too distant future, people struggle to survive their greatest enemy, the sun.
The year is 2016 and the world has gone to shit. The sun has heated up and has the power to boil your skin in an hour. Life on Earth is harsh, as people and animals start dying all over. A group of survivors believe that water can be found in the mountains and decide to traverse the harsh terrain and hopefully find what they seek. Little do they know, that the sun and heat is the least of their worries, as our lowly band of survivors are heading straight into an ambush and find themselves face to face with another group of people, who will do anything to survive, even if it takes doing some truly ghoulish things.
I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play, as the cover for Hell made it seem like it was going to be some low budget affair, akin to some high class Asylum film. Thankfully, I was completely wrong in that assumption, as Hell is far from being low budget and is miles and miles better than any film Asylum could dream of making. As I said above, Hell is a German film (expect subtitles) and is executive produced by the post-apocalyptic king of films himself, Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow).
The movie can easily be divided into two different genres. First, you have the apocalypse part of the movie, where the sun is the enemy. It’s an awful time and people are fighting over other peoples supplies and even though there is barely a soul in sight, whenever you do meet someone, you immediately can’t trust them. Not much is talked about as to how society crumbled so quickly and how many people are exactly alive. We only focus on a group of four people, three at first, Philip, Marie and Leonie. Along the way though, they pick another person, Tom, played by Stipe Erceg, who steals the manly award away from Philip, who after picking up Tom, quickly becomes apparent that he is an ass and is only looking out for himself.
The movie does start to drag a little before it transitions into the latter part of the story, but once we get over that initial hurdle, the action picks up and the tension is cranked and things start to take a turn for the disturbing. The movie has now become a survival film and starts making mankind the enemy. This shift in style doesn’t feel jarring and is really well played, using the colour of the film to mimic this shift, orange for the apocalypse parts and a bluish tint for the survival parts.
I really enjoyed Hell, as much as you can enjoy seeing society fall in on itself and humanity becoming so cruel (although, given how the world is now, I don’t think we’re that far off). Of course, that’s what a post-apocalyptic movie is supposed to be all about and Hell manages to drive home that point several times throughout it’s run time. I say, don’t judge this one based on the cover and give it a chance if you like other films of its kind.