Having directed, written and produced The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day and 2012 his credentials for disaster movies are well and truly earned. This is why his backing as executive producer for the low budget German post-apocalyptic horror Hell is a shining recommendation. We truly are in for an entertaining and well done movie on the end of the world.
And that is exactly what you get with Hell, playing out as a well crafted, excellently made movie, all set on a realistic, post-apocalyptic landscape, overtaken by sun, scorched earth that looks and feels like it cost a whole lot more than it probably did.
Taking place in the not so distant future, solar storms ravage our world and humanity has all but fallen. With civilisation crumbling in a hellish world ravaged by heat, nothing grows and water is a rarity.
With the days so hot you can’t go out uncovered, and a trio of survivors including two sisters Leonie and Marie (Lisa Vicari and Hannah Herzsprung respectively) travel into the wilds in an attempt to find some solace from the sun having heard rumors that water still flows somewhere in the mountains.
After picking up a traveller along the way it’s not long before the group meet with a minor obstacle in the road, unaware that they have driven straight into a man-made trap.
As the sisters are separated in the ensuing tussle, Maria must fight the eroded elements and harsh terrain in a desperate bid to get her younger sibling back to safety.
Little does she know however that the people she will eventually face (who are responsible for Leonie’s kidnapping) have been driven to much darker ways of survival than she can ever imagine.
Tim Fehlbaum does a great job directing Hell, keeping the tension taught and the risks and hazards in this blazing hot barren earth to the forefront at all times.
From the carcass and car littered roads to the wild and wickedly creepy woods the landscapes are excellently crafted and full credit must be given to the production team for creating a post-apocalyptic world so well realised.
Story-wise however Fehlbaum doesn’t do so good. Starting out as a nerve wracking drama, where the bickering between the characters is as hot and harsh as the barren motorways they drive on, the movie moves more towards horror in the second half, providing more nasty scenes and scares but a whole lot less originality.
The effects are also well done and cast-wise Vicari and Herzsprung are excellent, playing out the complicated love/hate dynamic found in all siblings be they living in the past, present or apocalyptic future.
Although initially the ideas are interesting, the trajectory and twist in Hell’s tail is all too predictable however. With its low budget effectively used to create a stunningly realistic post apocalyptic landscape, its safe to say Hell never looked so good.
Want to know how to survive in Hell? Read our Interview with Survival Expert Thomas Schorr-Kon right Here.