Skip to main content

COLD HELL review



A religious radical prowls the streets of Vienna, removing the skin of Muslim sex workers while they are still alive before compelling them to drink bubbled cooking oil. A young lady drives a taxi, as the night progresses, every iteration of a terrible human being passes through her cab, each one inching her closer and closer to a rage-fueled breakdown. The film explores the parallel stories of these two individuals whose lives will eventually crash into one another. The most recent film from Oscar-winning Austrian movie producer Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters), Cold Hell (Die Holle) is a merciless tale that wallows in savagery.

Γ–zge Dogruol (Violetta Schurawlow) is the cabbie, whose history of abuse has turned her into a survivor. She continually pushes ahead regardless of what life gives her. She trains at her ex's Thai boxing gym until she gets kicked out for beating the snot out an opponent who throws a sucker punch. She can handle herself and has a strong sense of right and wrong.

After an unpleasant evening in the driver's seat, Γ–zge sets out for home. As she pulls up, she's welcomed with the stench of burnt flesh and boiling blood — she peers out her window and gets a look at the man who tortured and killed her neighbor, but he sees her too, and from that point, the pursuit is on. Schurawlow is convincing from both a physical and emotional perspective. She might be slight in her frame but she carries the confidence and determination of a heavyweight.

The police offer little to no assistance, Officer Steiner (Tobias Moretti) dismisses her claims, leaving her to handle the situation on her own. Her family isn't much help either; her dad's a predator, her mom's complicit, and her closest relative, cousin Ranya (Verena Altenberger), is far too self-involved to listen. When the killer comes searching for Γ–zge, he inadvertently targets Ranya, driving our protagonist to grab up Ranya's young daughter and set out for retribution

COLD HELL is an uncomfortable, tension-filled thriller that stands on its own. What makes this revenge tale stand head and shoulders above the dozen's of other films in this overpopulated sub-genre is the care with which it was executed.  The performances are grounded with evocative camera work that never overshadows the humanity of the story. As batshit crazy as the film gets (and it does), it never fully disconnects from reality. The film vacillates between disturbingly violent imagery and quiet moments of consideration.  The gore might be a bit too much for the faint of heart but the execution makes me want to suggest this film to more than just the Fangoria crowd.

COLD HELL is available on Shudder today. Chick here to start your free trial of the most comprehensive streaming service for horror fans.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack?

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


LAFF review A CROOKED SOMEBODY

2107
Directed By: Trevor White
Starring: Rich Sommer, Clifton Collins Jr., Joanne Froggatt, Amanda Crew, Ed Harris
Producers: Jason Potash, Paul Finkel, Tim White, Wayne L. Rogers Sales: CAA
Ambition is a powerful drug that can inspire positive change. It can force you outside of the comfortable boxes you place yourself in. It asks you to stretch and reimagine not only the person you are but the person you could be. Most great men and women have a deep relationship with what they see as their purpose. This is a personality trait never driven by or limited to the pragmatic and there in lies the problem. Logic be damned, when a sense of determination is your north star. 
Michael Vaughn (Sommer) is an ambitious psychic on the road promoting a book that no one is buying. Using parlor tricks and audience plants Vaughn helps people "connect" with loved ones who have passed on. Somewhere in between a traveling preacher and a low-rent John Edwards he sees himself as a man destined …

SONG OF SOLOMON Review

Exorcism films do not begin and end with William Friedkin's THE EXORCIST. With entries as varied as BEETLEJUICE, CONSTANTINE, and THE RITE, the exorcism sub-genre of horror films is far more diverse than many immediately recognize.  

With THE SONG OF SOLOMON director Stephen Brio has added a unique take on the possession movie. In his film, the Catholic church attempts to save the soul of Mary (Jessica Cameron) who appears to have been possessed after witnessing her father's brutal suicide.

Mary is off camera while her father takes his own life. In a scene that could play as a confessional or an accusation, the family's patriarch lists off the reasons why he is being forced to use his knife on Mary and himself. He details how they were a good, loving family and he can't understand why she is accusing him of abuse. Using demonic control as a metaphor for trauma survival is something so natural, I can't believe it's not woven into every film of this kind.

Jessic…