Marie (HANNAH HERZSPRUNG), her little sister Leonie (LISA VICARI) and Phillip (LARS EIDINGER) are heading for the mountains in a car with covered windows. Rumor has it there is still water there. Along the way they run into Tom (STIPE ERCEG), a first-rate mechanic that becomes indispensible. But can they trust him? Tension grows in the small group. As if things weren ́t bad enough, they are lured into an ambush. Their real battle for survival begins.
HELL is from producer Roland Emmerich and frankly it is his name attached to the project which first drew my attention. That however is incredibly unfair to first time director Tim Fehlbaum who did an absolutely outstanding job with his first time behind the camera. It is incredibly rare that a first time director can perfectly engage the audience and draw them into his mindscape with the camera nad Tim Fehlbaum does exactly that as he pulls us deep into the tortured world of HELL.
From Hell is a visceral experience that goes beyond the hype and hoopla of modern apocalyptic movies and focuses on the most terrifying elements, the lack of water, no food, and the wasteland of survivors who went from mailman and lawyer to apocalyptic survivors.
Unlike most modern films that require 40minutes of ho hum, 10 minutes of not so subtle and 20 minutes of explosive action HELL is a film that basks in its bleakness with a slow burn. There is no explosive climax because the film is constantly moving, constantly engaging you and drawing you into the world and the people of the earth that is now a sun scorched HELL. Every moment of the film is searing as Tom, Phillip Marie and Leonia attempt to survive in an apocalyptic hell on earth.
HELL is a movie that packs top notch production values, stark visual imagery and powerful performances making it easily one of the best films of 2012 so far. It is not a ‘horror movie’ in the sense that the boogeyman will get you or that some evil mutant lurks in the scorched earth. HELL is terrifying because of its realism and the fact that the true terror lies in the everyday people who are left to survive and the risks they will and will not take to survive.
If you enjoy faster paced apocalyptic films like Doomsday, I Am Legend or Cloverfield then HELL may not be for you. If however you are a diehard fan of Max Max, loved Carriers and The Road and appreciate substance over explosive action then HELL is an absolute must see. I encourage everyone to give this film at least a chance on the off chance you will love it as much as I did.