Hell Tim Fehlbaum

Hell Tim Fehlbaum
Piggybacking on the current real-world theme of global warming and environmental consequences, German director Tim Fehlbaum's thriller flick, Hell, is set in the near future after the sun has increased the Earth's temperature by ten degrees Celsius. The word "hell" is a metaphor, as well as the German word for "bright." It's easy to see that this is a fiction based on potential reality, with the Sun being the primary antagonist, as humans can no longer expose themselves to direct sunlight for fear of instantly burning. Borrowing from other dystopian thrillers such as Mad Max and The Book of Eli, the story follows a group of people travelling in a car as they attempt to reach a rumoured safe haven in the mountains where rain is said to once again fall. With all the windows in the car covered by cardboard, and a small slit for seeing while driving, we are introduced to the occupants. Phillip (Lars Eidinger) is the driver; Marie (Hannah Herzsprung) his girlfriend; and her younger sister, Leonie (Lisa Vicari). A fourth passenger, Tom (Stipe Erceg), joins them after an altercation, but like the others there isn't much character development to provide insight or backstory. Things come to an abrupt halt when they encounter wreckage on the highway and are split up by adversaries, with the Sun suddenly becoming the secondary antagonist. With Leonie kidnapped and missing, Marie fights to locate her sister and eventually finds herself among a cannibalistic clan. Fehlbaum makes effective use of a washed-out palette and extreme contrasts between the day and night lighting to make the scenery look otherworldly, but throws in several reminders that it is still Earth, including the repeated playing of "99 Luftballons" ad nauseam. Fehlbaum produces a somewhat effective thriller by sticking to a derivative premise, however the brightness of the daytime scenes can be a bit rough on the retinas — you shouldn't watch this in a dark room. Alas, there are no special features on the disc, but I suppose there wasn't much to say about a film shot with such a minimalist feel to it. (Mongrel Media)