This low-budget foreign language post-apocalyptic film entitled Hell is produced by uber-blockbuster type Roland Emmerich (2012, Day After Tomorrow) and while the connotation of the title would imply its horror elements, it's actually in reference to the German word for "bright". It's a sly nod to the filmic fact that the sun is getting closer to the earth and ready to fry us all like so many eggs. Not nearly as good as the classic Twilight Zone episode with the same premise, Hell still manages to entertain on at least a level or two.
Sci-fi superstar writer Kurt Vonnegut, imparting advice to those wanting to fill his shoes and clack his keys, once said "Every character [you write] should want something, even if it is only a glass of water." And so it seems the director and co-writer of Hell Tim Fehlbaum has taken this recommendation quite literally: the story follows a rag-tag band of parched protagonists in search of a place where the 24/7 shining sun hasn't scorched, boiled off or otherwise done away with the life-sustaining wet stuff.
While bottled H20 is scarce, actual natural running water has become the rarest of all rare commodities. Marie and her little sister Leonie are headed into the fabled hills where babbling brooks are said to exist — and with them is driver and male protector, Phillip. Their auto is limping along on its last tire tread when they encounter Tom, a first-rate mechanic who promises to keep their crumbling car intact for the long, hot drive… but, can the stranger be trusted?
Unfortunately, rather than a character-driven survival story akin to The Walking Dead, The Road, or even the flawed but somewhat cool 'n stylized Hughes Brothers quasi horror action flick wrapped in a Biblical riddle, Book of Eli, Hell leans more toward stranger-danger slasher horror and amounts to little more than sinister mountain-men hell-bent on killing along the lines of a Wrong Turn movie by way of House of 1000 Corpses.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson