Hell (2011) - Tim Fehlbaum
Tim Fehlbaum's Hell takes place in the not so distant future where our greatest source of light and warmth, the sun,has rebelled against us, scorching the earth to the point which all that exists is a barren wasteland. Marie and her little sister Leonie are headed towards the mountains with Philip, a somewhat trustworthy man. Rumors suggest that water may still exist in the region but on there arrival they are ambushed, forcing them to fight for their lives. Featuring a contained story that spends time with its characters, Hell starts off very strong. The time neccessary is spent to develop these characters, at least enough to the point that the audience genuinely becomes invested in their struggle. When the three protagonists meet these mountain people, who serve as the main protagonists, the film loses a lot of its luster. The story feels less contained, outgrowing the suspense and tension it had build up early on with many familiar horror tropes that really hurt the film's ability to be distinct. That being said, Hell deserves praise for the way it portrays its antagonists as people who are just trying to surprise. They aren't painted as complete monsters but rather people who are simply trying to maintain their way of life. There is a scene towards the very end of the film that really captures this notion that these people are not very different than Marie and Leonie, having family and loved ones themselves, they just are willing to do more heinous acts in order to survive. Another aspect I liked is that Hell doesn't feel a need to go into torture porn levels of gore, opting instead to leave the gruesome horror up to the viewer's imagination, which more so than no amplifies the horror. Hell is not a great horror film by any means, with the second half of the film becoming very lazy from a narrative standpoint, but it does enough things right to make it a serviceable horror film.
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