May 15, 2012

Hell (2012)

(aka Bright)
Release Date: On VOD August 9th and DVD August 21st.
Country: Germany, Switzerland
Written by: Tim Fehlbaum and Oliver Kahl.
Directed By: Tim Fehlbaum.
Starring: Hannah Herzsprung, Stipe Erceg, Angela Winkler, Michael Kranz and Lisa Vicari.

The title Hell serves two purposes as far as this film goes; one, it means "bright" in German, and the movie is all about bright sunlight; and two, the world in which the characters find themselves in is indeed hellish, and not only in the German sense of the word. We're pretty sure the director did that on purpose.

Das ist really bright.
Executive Produced by Roland Emmerich, Hell is the story of a world gone wrong because the Sun is a dick. That's right, our very own life-giving Sun has rebelled against the Earth, its solar flares making life on our planet's surface nearly impossible. It's too bright to see without protective goggles, exposing bare skin to the sun's rays is basically a death sentence, there's no food, and those that are still alive fight each other in the forbidden zone for the biggest treasure of all... water.

Marie and her little sister Leonie are desperately trying to get to the mountains where it's rumored that water still exists. Some creeper with a car named Phillip is helping them, but I'm pretty sure he's only doing it to bang the older sister. We can't totally fault him for that because sex is probably in short supply too... because the Sun is a cock-blocker!

Yep, still really bright.
Along the way they meet another guy, Tom, who seems all nice and helpful. Is he though? Hmm... They all head towards the mountains like one big dysfunctional family, until they come across an odd roadblock... which is really a cannibal family trap! Yeah, it kinda goes into that Backwoods Horror realm a bit, although to be fair, most Post Apocalyptic (PA) movie have cannibals of some sort trying to eat the non-cannibal survivors. Brightness and the fight for self-preservation ensues.

If you're a PA fan, you'll love this movie. It's stark, eerie, and shares the same helpless and desolate atmosphere with such PA classics as Mad Max or The Road. PA movies are all about survival. With Hell, survival is indeed the name of the game, but it's the overly bright, Sun-filled landscapes that take center stage. The film is beautiful, its visuals earning its cinematographer top honors at the Stiges Film Festival in 2011. For me personally, it's always the visual Horror that draws me the to the average PA flick; barren, destroyed landscapes which inspire nothing but dread and despair... there's just something compelling as hell about that.

Does the night ever come?
Add some good characters that are likable to the already compelling visual aesthetic, and you've got a pretty engaging movie on your hands here. The story of two sisters trying to survive is what really drives this film forward; whether it's the merciless Sun or a family of creepy cannibals threatening their lives, we want them to live, because we like them. Well written characters portrayed by competent actors will get you every time.

She's going to try to kill the Sun.
Hell is one hell of a Post Apocalyptic film that delves into the Horror realm with ease. Had it focused more on the survival aspect of things, and not gone into backwoods cannibal country for most of its plot, it might have scored higher than a B. As it stands though, Hell is a great Thriller/Survival flick that uses its premise well enough to make us sweat just watching it.

We're pretty sure that Hell deserves a place amongst the great Post Apocalyptic films of all-time, such as The Road Warrior, The Road, Children of Men, and their ilk. It's not necessarily as good as those classic flicks, but it comes pretty close. Either way, if you're down with Dystopia, then you need to see this movie.


Hannah Herzsprung is one fine Madchen.


  1. This looks interesting - will need to get my hands on it.

    Also bro... have you guys heard of this movie called "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" ?

    I just watched it, and though it's not amazing, it had some pretty disturbing moments that stuck with me way after the movie ended.

    The whole things actually on youtube

  2. this is not a horror movie,nothing really happens until the last 15 min' and the story is so cliche,frontiers has a similar story and it is far more better.

  3. Don't listen to E.V. This really is a great PA film with fantastic visuals, good performances and interesting characters. Give it a try!