January 11, 2021 Bloody Hell (Movie Review)
Horror/Comedy had died down over the years until shows like Ash vs Evil Dead and movies like 2017’s The Babysitter hit streaming platforms, and proved that this genre is not over just yet. Following this trend, The Horror Collective’s pitch-black Horror/Comedy Bloody Hell hits select theaters, drive-ins and On Demand as of January 14th, 2021.
From Director Alister Grierson (Kokoda: 39th Battalion 2006, Sanctum 2011), the film stars Ben O’Toole (Hacksaw Ridge 2016, Detroit 2017) as Rex, a man with a mysterious past who decides to escape his personal hell in the US and travel to Finland. Though it initially seemed like a good plan it soon turns into a huge mistake, one that could possibly end Rex’s life.
After serving in the military, what could only be assumed with subtle hints throughout the movie, Rex is just your average, everyday guy. But when he visits a bank to to see a girl, Maddy (Ashlee Lollback: Don’t Tell 2017, Flynn 2018), he becomes the main interest when the bank is robbed. Instead of letting the robbery happen, Rex takes action and in doing so endangers someone’s life, ultimately ending in death. Although his actions are considered heroic by some, the court does not see it this way, especially considering an innocent life was taken.
After serving eight years in prison, Rex is let out to a life of fame. Not liking his newfound notoriety, he decides to get out of the US and travel to Finland, all in hopes of escape. While waiting for his flight at the airport, he runs into a really strange couple, Caroline Craig (Blue Heelers series, Little Deaths 2007) and Mathew Sunderland (Out of The Blue 2006, Savage 2019), that claim they want to “get him.” Shaking it off as the pair just being weirdos who recognize him from his moment of glory, so to speak, he gets on the plane and makes his way to Europe.
However, he does not get a warm welcome. Kidnapped from the airport after getting into a taxi, he awakens in a basement somewhere and quickly realizes he is in a very big predicament. His hopes are lifted when the English-speaking Alia, portrayed by Meg Fraser (Leech 2018), enters the room to find him strung up, and she begins to help him. Will her assistance be enough to aid in his escape from this twisted family?
O’Toole is phenomenal in portraying his character. Not to give too much away, but playing a split character is likely far more difficult than it sounds, and O’Toole does an amazing job. He is upright, hilarious and great at tension-filled scenes. Meanwhile Fraser’s character is outstanding, as well, especially toward the end when we see a more confident Alia. Props must be given to the other actors, Craig and Sunderland, as their skill in depicting their psychotically twisted characters is definite.
Furthermore, the story for Bloody Hell is outstanding. Writer Robert Benjamin (A Wanted Man 2013, Sparks! 2018) delivers an excellent tale filled with horror and comedy. It is well-portrayed and will possibly send its viewer into a panic only to be saved by a burst of laughter. Cinematographer Brad Shield (Sweetwater 2013, Father of The Year 2018) does the material justice with his amazing ability to develop the visuals of the story smoothly, bringing the audience along for the ride. Additionally, the lighting department deserves credit as the darker scenes are matched with comedic bits, while the great music builds tension when needed and gives a bit of relief where and when.
Although Bloody Hell can be a bit cheesy here and there, it is still worth a watch. The cast will definitely keep the audience’s attention and the cinematography will keep their attention focused. Of course, it also helps that the comedic aspects of the story are not as cliched as most Horror/Comedy offerings. For all of these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Bloody Hell 5 out of 5 stars.