With the fluency of director Alister Grierson, Bloody Hell has blasted onto the horror scene with an assaultive force cementing its position as being one of this year’s most surprising and devilishly indulging films. Writer ‘Robert Benjamin creates a story dripping with satirical hilarity and brutality, all whilst not falling victim to cheap cliches.
The tour de force that is Bloody Hell takes us on a wild ride as we follow Rex (Ben O’Toole), a recently released convict who unwillingly ends up in a sadistic Finnish family’s basement ready to be feasted upon by one of modern horror’s most barbarous households. However, can Rex’s internal monologue save him from the pits of hell?
It can be said that a film is dominantly character or scenario based, rarely both. Grierson carefully tiptoes between this line through creating an impressive character study without abandoning the richly entertaining narrative. O’Toole craftily carries this film with an incredible performance. We see Rex in two alternative lights, there’s his presentable persona and then his inner discourse whose valiant introspections create a devil’s advocate soliloquy.
Thrusting this rogue ‘bad-boy’ exterior even further is the film’s adventurous take upon what can be a risky sub genre; action horror. It was Rex’s heroic actions straight out of Die Hard that landed him in prison in the first place, and it seems that his time in solitude has only affixed this persona. This innately thrilling allure is what makes Rex the ultimate vigilante, with his fight or flight gutsiness exhibiting what we all wish we had the ability to do in the presence of a Nordic cannibalistic family.
Rex’s jovialness does not wear thin, but let’s not forget to mention the other piece in this twisted puzzle. The torture family trope is not entirely rare within horror, we’re accustomed to uncouth rustic families with an appetite for flesh living in an awfully convenient rural setting. Thus, it’s rare to be taken by surprise. However, we soon learn that this disturbed unit’s dynamics are much more complex than an insatiable appetite for flesh. Quite simply, Rex’s hosts are far from ordinary.
This erratic ruthlessness is not just exhibited through the characters, but also through the stimulating visuals. The sporadic hyper-stylisation is temptingly inviting, from the forthright confrontational cinematography through to the foreboding soundtrack denies the viewer any chance of normality.
This surreal horror warms with an eccentric satirical timing complimenting the surreal elements that are feathered throughout. This aligns with Bloody Hell’s use of frenzied camera work and unorthodox storytelling methods, making this a varied banquet with something for everyone.
Bloody Hell is available to watch via DVD/Blu-ray and VOD right now!