Wow. Well that was surprisingly marvellous.
I’ve seen a fair few horror anthologies in the past few years ranging from the ‘that was fun but forgettable’ VHS (2012) to the classic Trick R Treat (2007). There is definitely a special skill set needed to make a short film which has a one two punch approach. Fast, snappy but memorable. Seven Hells really blew me away in that department. I would say I am quite a tough critic when it comes to reviewing horror because I know that when it’s done right it can be magnificent. And case in point with the horror anthology Seven Hells. Split into seven circles of hell, it tells seven hellish short stories. With the majority of the short films having low budgets, the emphasis has been put on script to find intelligent ways to tell fun horror stories with more creativity than most of what’s been released in mainstream theaters. Horror films today often take themselves far too seriously so it is a welcome change to see the shorts in Seven Hells have a macabre sense of humour.
The first circle of hell called Jack Attack is so twisted and dark that as soon as it finished I knew that I was going to have a good time watching this anthology. The gore and narrative in Jack Attack is inventive and seriously disturbing. The next short film is a bit longer but sets up the scenario nicely with a newly engaged couple stuck out on a deserted highway. This too is a strong segment that keeps the bar high for the rest to follow. We then get the hilariously silly Killer Kart about shopping karts killing people with a witty script that makes the action even funnier. The fourth circle of hell has a very a simple idea about a cannibal going cold turkey but with it’s unique camera work and gruesome body horror it definitely leaves a mark. The next short Black Sugar, about a drug trip gone bad is epic in production value but is my least favourite of the seven, which isn’t saying much as even this one is enjoyably clever. The sixth circle of hell is probably my favourite, about a redneck dealing with killer pests in his house. Dripping with black humour it made me laugh out loud numerous times. The final short about four misogynistic husbands who kills their wives only to get their own comeuppance is a fun way to finish the anthology. I won’t give too much else away as it is best to see the film with a blank slate.
Each short has impressively high standards and it’s great to know that there are intelligent budding horror film makers out there. Unlike other anthologies such as VHS where you often get a mix of stronger and weaker parts I really can’t find much to critique about Seven Hells.
The only things that I believe could be changed to make the film even better is unlike other horror anthologies Seven Hells shorts aren’t connected but play as separate films with credits at the end of each. This removes some of the fun in the viewing experience and creates more of a horror short film festival than a complete horror film. The titles for the film at the beginning also come across as a little cheesy and it doesn’t match the feel that the rest of the film has.
Apart from those small misfires Seven Hells is a stellar effort from up and coming horror directors with so many bright and wicked ideas it is truly a joy to behold.
SEVEN HELLS contains the shorts
KILLER KART, BLACK SUGAR, TIL’ DEATH, COLD TURKEY, INCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 73, HORRIFIC and JACK ATTACK.
SEVEN HELLS is currentky screening in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Categories: Horror Movie Reviews