From Roland Emmerich comes another post-apocalyptic film, hell. If there ever was a Director who got typecast, it would be Emmerich, and it would be for these dystopian end of the world tales that he’s so good at making into Hollywood blockbusters. With his reputation for making bigbudget blockbusters, I was surprised that I had never heard of Hell, but it’s premise was enough to make me order the DVD.
A post-apocalyptic road movie, Hell follows Marie, her little sister Leonie and a guy they just bummed a ride with, Phillip as they make their way to the mountains, where rumour has it, water an still be found. Water you see is scarce, as the sun has turned the planet into a scorched wasteland, where the days are too bright, and the sun will burn you pretty much instantly, and the nights are a peculiar twilight. Lured into an ambush, these weary travelers soon find-out that there are worse things that an overbearing sun.
If you’re thinking that it doesn’t sound like much of a Emmerich blockbuster, you’d be right. It’ll hit you as soon as the first words are spoken and you realise you’re reading subtitles. Hell is a German post-apocalyptic film to which Emmerich has attached his name.
Even though it took me a little while to adjust from the expected Hollywood Blockbuster to the low key German flick, I’m glad that Emmerich put his name behind it, because I may have pasted it by otherwise.
It is a low budget affair, but it works really well. A little confusing at first, you soon figure out what’s going on, and the film tends to grab you and draw you in, with it’s slow but steady pace and the ever present feeling that something bad is about to happen.
To tell you much more about the film, would be to spoil it. It’s an interesting spin on the genre, even if it does borrow heavily from other films.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read