hell-movie-poster-2011-german

Film Facts:

Hell is a German-Swiss post-apocalyptic/horror film (I watched it with English subtitles on Netflix). Released in 2011, starring Hannah Herzsprung, and the directorial debut of Tim Fehlbaum. My synopsis: “In a sun-scorched post-apocalyptic landscape, three travelers (Marie, Leonie, and Philip) head for the mountains based on rumors of water. Bad stuff goes down.

hell red car

The Apocalypse Scenario:

Hellish heat. In the near future, solar flares have wreaked havoc with Earth’s atmosphere and increased the planet’s temperature by 10°C (or 18°F). The sun pummels the terrain, scorching all plant and animal life. There are rumors that it still rains “above the treeline” but this notion is dismissed as wishful thinking. The survivors avoid walking during the daylight and cover their skin as if trekking across the Sahara desert. Car windows are decorated with newspaper, cardboard and duct tape in an effort to keep the sunlight out. One character has severe burns on his arm from only two hours of sun exposure.

The Year:

2016. We’re not given a timeline, but its been at least two or three years into the mysterious solar flares.
hell pushing barrier

What They’ve Run Out Of:

Water and Sunscreen. (Seriously, sunscreen must be worth a fortune because no-one ever puts it on.) Our trio scavenges for pretty much everything; water and food are the obvious necessities. The charred landscape is a constant reminder of the Earth’s demise, intensifying the need for food. Marie and Leonie take apart gas-station radiators and toilets in search of water. As our group traverses deeper into the mountains, creating a sustainable source of nourishment becomes central to the plot.

hell house

What this Film Adds to the Post-Apocalyptic Genre:

Compromise.
The question of “what will you compromise to survive” is nothing new to the post-apocalyptic genre. My guess is that someone read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and decided to make an entire film exploring the farmhouse scene. (You know the one.) With that said, Hell is a well-made film and the idea of compromise takes a front-seat.

Its implied that Marie and Philip have a sexual relationship that’s somewhat reluctant on Marie’s part. When Leonie questions her older sister about it, Marie replies “we help each other.” When the inevitable stuff goes down, characters are forced to make decisions between their own survival and rescuing part of their group. Finally, we see what lengths a community will resort to in order to survive. The most disturbing part is how these compromises are accepted as part of normal life. The film asks the audience (without words) “What would you do to survive hell on earth?” And, “if the highest ethic isn’t survival, what is it?”

hell tunnel

Isaac’s Rating:

zippedlipzippedlipzippedlipunzippedlipunzippedlip

3 out of 5 Zipped Lips.

Post-apocalyptic films are becoming a dime of dozen, and I’m pleased to say that this is one of the better ones. Hell forgoes depicting destruction on a grand scale, preferring to focus on a trio traversing the German countryside in their little red car. The result is intimate, intense, and terrifying. Fehlbaum’s attention to detail, like Philip burning his fingers when he reaches for a sun soaked gas cap, gives the film a human touch of believability and familiarity. We’ve all experienced the intense heat of summer, and here we’re given a picture of a world that’s this way all the time. Even though its lower budget, the camerawork and scenery are all beautiful and terrifying to behold. Fehlbaum is a talented director and I’m looking forward to what he does in the future.

Overall, Hell is a solid but fairly derivative film. The Road, 28 Days Later, and The Walking Dead’s fifth season have all covered these ideas before. If you loved The Road and are looking for something intense, then give Hell a watch on Netflix. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, then skip it in favor of Mad Max or Walking Dead.

poster

What do you think, apocalypse fans? – Don’t forget to check out the rest of our movies in the Post-Apocalyptic Movie Roundup!

Advertisements

Stephenie Meyer (writer of the Twilight series) announced that she’s writing a new Teen-Paranormal-Romance series called “Apple.” – The disturbing bit? Its apparently about a love-triangle between Adam, Eve, and Satan. Remember that Stephenie Meyer is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, which is known for having some wacko theology… Check out an excerpt from this interview:

Lang: So, Stephenie, you wanted to go deeper with this idea of good and evil, what got you to the Garden of Eden?

Meyer: I realized that everything I’d been writing about… romance, good and evil, choices, monsters… humanity, if you will… all of it began with this Garden of Eden story. Which I actually quoted in Twilight, because I liked the idea so much.

Lang: Right. That was the forward to your first book.

Meyer: Exactly. So here’s Adam and Eve in the Garden, and God made them to be perfect, yet here we have Eve running off to the tree to meet with Lucifer. That’s very interesting to me. I imagine a lot of tension there, like the conversation at the forbidden tree was the climax of a long relationship.

Lang: Lucifer?

Meyer: Oh, yeah. That’s one of the Bible’s names for Satan. It means “Angel of Light” or “Morning Star.”

Lang: Wait, Satan was an angel?

Meyer: Yes! (laughs) That’s what is so fascinating about his character! Lucifer isn’t really the red, horned, fiery demon thing we picture carrying around a pitchfork. He was once a beautiful Angel in heaven, and the brother of Jesus. I think Lucifer spent time in the Garden of Eden, walking around with Adam and Eve. He’s this incredible, beautiful figure of a winged man. A warrior, sparkling with light, yet cold and immortal.

Lang: Sounds like Edward. But with wings, of course.

Meyer: That’s what’s so fascinating! I didn’t write Lucifer to be like Edward, I really tried to make them different. But I realized that my vampires were, in a way, based off this iconic “fallen angel” that is embodied by Lucifer.

Lang: Interesting. So do you think you can re-invent Satan like you reinvented Vampires?

Meyer: I’m not trying to make him interesting, I just see the story from his perspective, you know? I write what is interesting to me. And I think once people hear Lucifer’s side of the story, they’ll find him as fascinating as I do.

Lang: So then what happens?

Meyer: Lucifer falls in love with Eve.

Lang: … I’m sorry, what?

Meyer: Its an incredible love triangle. Who does Eve choose? Adam, the perfect man… and I mean perfect man, who was literally created to be with her… or Lucifer? The Angel of Light, and the eventual Prince of Darkness?

Lang: um… are you okay? Can I get you a glass of water?

Meyer: No. (laughs) I’m fine, really…

Lang: So you were saying… Adam, Eve, Satan, love triangle?

Meyer: Oh, right… So this is the real reason why God banished Lucifer from heaven, because Lucifer wanted Eve to learn about evil and leave the Garden with him.

Lang: Um, I think I’m getting confused… wasn’t eating the apple a bad thing?

Meyer: Well, God wouldn’t let them leave, right? He wouldn’t let Adam and Eve learn about evil, and Lucifer disagreed with this. Lucifer knew it was wrong to force this naive life on humans. …I mean, wouldn’t that be boring to you? All that perfection?

Lang: Hmm, I don’t know about that. No sin? Perfect man, perfect woman, walking around with God, right?

Meyer: Well, Lucifer didn’t see it that way. He wanted Eve to see through the deceptions, to choose for herself. So he lures Eve out to the tree and puts everything on the line. Adam runs up at the end of the conversation just as his love is holding the apple. Eve can choose to stay with Adam, or she can go with Lucifer and forfeit her soul.

Lang: So, she eats the apple, right?…

Meyer: Yes. But then in a twist, Adam takes the apple too, sealing himself to the same fate as Eve. Actually, that’s the end of my first book. And my second book, “Apple” will be about the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit.

Lang: How many are you planning to do?

Meyer: Well I’m almost done with “Angel”, and then I’ll get to work on “Apple”. I’m thinking about some ideas for a third, but I don’t want to give anything away until we’ve made at least one movie. (laughs)