Set in the future, the sun has overheated the Earth and has changed the landscape of humanity. What’s left behind is a lawless world bent on survival at any cost, including stealing whatever supplies possible, whenever possible from whoever possible. Humans are quick to attack each other for whatever is needed, even to the point where some have resorted to cannibalism. Long exposures to the sun will kill you with the night being the only break in the temperatures.
This German import does a great job painting a bleak world ravaged by our big, bright neighbor. The film has a post-apocalyptic as you might expect and includes various buildings in ruin as well as forests with no leaves on the trees looking like they’ve been cooked under a broiler for too long. Overall, it’s well produced and has a good look and feel to it with stark but deep colors, nice shot composition and tight editing. The script is smart and keeps a good pace. The ending might challenge your thinking but if you pay attention to the dialog earlier on, it will make sense.
The biggest name attached to this is Roland Emmerich who serves as a executive producer of the movie. But don’t hold that against the film, this isn’t one of his big action extravaganzas like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012. Hell has more of an independent vibe without trying to appeal to a giant audience.
The actors are understated but effective. They look and feel desperate. Even some of the people working together seem ready to run away or turn on each other if given the chance. The unfortunate run in with the cannibal group plays out in a great, psychological way without being gory for the sake of gory. There’s a good deal of suspense rather than an overly bloody approach that made the film bite your lip a bit in anticipation at the appropriate times and still shock you with a flash of intensity at well thought out plot points.
Kudos to writer / director Tim Fehlbaum. Check out Hell.
reviewed by Sean McKnight