'Bloody Hell' Movie Review: Bloody Good Filmmaking [Nighstream]
Bloody Hell is a horror movie where you truly won’t know where it’s going. That makes it difficult to write a movie review without spoiling, but hopefully the parts that don’t give anything away sound interesting enough. They are, and rest assured it only gets crazier from there.
Ben O’Toole finds himself in ‘Bloody Hell’
Rex Coen (Ben O’Toole) is waiting in a bank to hit on a teller, Maddy (Ashlee Lollback) when bank robbers come in. We see that Rex foiled the robbery, but one hostage did die so he takes a deal to serve eight years in prison. When he gets out, still a celebrity from the robbery, Rex decides to take a trip to Finland to get away.
At the airport, he overhears a couple saying they want to get him. He ignores it, but when he takes a cab from the airport, the car gasses him. Rex wakes up tied in a basement with his leg cut off. All that happens in the beginning of the movie!
Maintaining ‘Bloody Hell’
The setup is a lot, but the bulk of the movie takes place in that basement. Writer Robert Benjamin and director Alister Grierson do a good job keeping momentum going in a confined situation. The movie is called Bloody Hell. They deliver on their promise.
One way the film remains dynamic is that Rex talks to himself. He literally appears in front of himself and has arguments with himself. Rex makes attempts to break the knot. The daughter of the kidnappers, Alia (Meg Fraser) comes and talk to him, so they either hatch plans or play a psychological game depending on your interpretation. Moments of violence are sudden, but they live up to the title.
Bloody good filmmaking
What’s most impressive about Bloody Hell is the polished style of filmmaking. Sometimes at film festivals we may be forgiving of amateur mistakes if we see some genuine talent there. Grierson puts mainstream Hollywood movies to shame.
He’s careful about what is in each frame. A lot of shots are either locked off, or tracking steadily. Big studio movies now will just shake the camera and cut it together, including some of the main Marvel movies. Grierson is intentional about every single thing he’s showing you.
You could also totally take for granted that this is a big visual effects movie. O’Toole is in most shots twice and it’s seamless. They’ve also presumably removed his leg in post, but you never notice. It’s all designed to blend into this outrageously dire moment.
Where Bloody Hell goes in the spoiler section is cool too. As for the promised violence, the finale includes a joyfully violent three minute sequence, and even that’s not all this movie has in store. So, hopefully you’ll get a chance to see it after it plays the Nighstream Film Festival and then we can talk about the details.
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