bloody hell | alister grierson | robert benjamin | ben o'toole | meg fraser | caroline craig | slasher | vacation | cannibal | action | mystery | thriller | australia | united states | matthew sunderland | travis jeffrey | jack finsterer | david hill | joshua brennan
Film: Bloody Hell
Director: Alister Grierson
Writer: Robert Benjamin
Starring: Ben O’Toole, Meg Fraser and Caroline Craig
This was a movie that I know I first heard about from Marknado over on social media. It was one of the better ones he watched in January so I put it on a list to check out. I needed to find something to pair up as part of my Odyssey Through the Ones segment on Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast. I don't necessarily think paired up great, but I wanted to see it so here we are. The synopsis is a man with a mysterious past flees the country to escape his own personal hell - only to arrive somewhere much, much worse.
We start this movie off with a child by the name of Alia fleeing into the night. They aren’t speaking English and we learn later that this is happening in Finland. Those that are after her are stating they are family and she can't get away. She tries to jump into the river in order to make her escape.
It then takes us to a bank. In line is Rex (Ben O'Toole). He's trying to make it where he will be waited on Maddy (Ashlee Lollback). Things take a dark turn though when this bank in Boise, Idaho gets robbed. Rex notices another customer has a gun, but when he tries to motion for her to use it, she refuses. This gun ends up in his hands. The movie has an interesting way to telling us, but Rex ends up taking down the robbers. A decision he makes though lands him in court and 8 years in prison.
When he gets out, Rex is a celebrity, but not in a good way. He cannot live a normal life so he goes to his buddy from work, Pete (Joshua Brennan), to collect his things. What he is looking for is his passport. It is here he reveals his plan, to move to Finland and start over. This was decided by shooting a spitball at the map and it landing on this country.
It is at the airport that he is seen by Caroline Craig and her husband of Matthew Sunderland. They state that they're going to get him and that he'd be perfect for their son. A man does relay what is said, but Rex laughs it off. I should also point out here that Rex talks to himself. We see this through his conscious as being another version of Rex. There is a lot of interior monologue, but sometimes he verbalizes this out loud.
When Rex arrives in Finland, a taxi cuts in line to pick him up. The driver is Jack Finsterer and we see he's working with the couple in the United States. Gas is leaked into the back of the taxi and despite what Rex does, he's knocked out. He then wakes up, arms tied above his head and that's not it. This seems to be a family that is behind taking him and Alia (Meg Fraser) is one of the members. There are also her twin brothers of Gael and Gideon (Travis Jeffrey) as well as Olli (David Hill). While talking to his conscious, Rex has to find a way out of here before it is too late. He slowly pieces toether what his true purpose is here and how it involves another member of this family, Pati (Caleb Enoka).
That is where I want to leave my recap of this movie. I think that gets you the basic idea without spoiling anything. Where I want to start is that I wasn't sure what type of movie we were getting here. I knew the title, I knew briefly what I saw on social media about people liking it and that really was about it. I did know this movie went a bit wild, so I was intrigued to see what I was in for.
Where I want to start is how well this movie is written. We get so many reveals that are done without force feeding them. For an example here, I was confused as to why Rex would be trial. He helped thwart a bank robbery. It is when he gets out that we learn something happened that made it excessive force and Rex also has military training. The movie alludes to what happened, but makes you wait for the reveal and it worked for me. Something that happens to him when he's taken makes sense as well to level the playing field.
Shifting this over to this family that takes him should be next. What I love here is that they're actually really normal aside from them kidnapping people. They don't have special training. They're not super strong or anything like that. The family is able to lure people in and take them unsuspecting. They are creepy though, I do have to say that. When I first saw the masks that Gael and Gideon wear made me feel uncomfortable. The only one that seems normal is Alia as doesn't want to be like them. She is interesting on top of that due to a story she is reading to Olli and the implications from it.
Something that I think I should point out here is that this is part comedy. Some of it comes from Rex talking to his conscious. I'll admit there were a few times that this had me laughing out loud and I was by myself. That isn't to say that all of the jokes land for me. There are a few things that they do that does take me out of the movie. Regardless though, this is more of my speed with the comedy and thought that it doesn't detract from the other elements we are getting in this film.
Since I've touched on the comedy, I think next I'll go to the acting. I liked our lead here of O'Toole. We establish that he's a pretty badass character. There is something done here that levels the playing field to prevent him from going 'John Wick' on them and that worked for me. He also brings some level of comedy I could appreciate as it is based in sarcasm. Fraser is solid as this sheltered woman. You feel bad for her and I liked what they did with her character. She's also quite attractive as well. I think that Craig, Sunderland, Jeffrey in both his roles and Finsterer are all good as well. They bring such creepiness to their roles that it is effective. The last person I want to call out would be Lollback. She is in a smaller supporting role, but it helps with the overall story forsure.
Then really the last thing I want to go into would be effects. Surprisingly, this movie doesn't have a lot of them, but it also doesn't need them. That isn't to say we don't get any effects either. The movie is strategic in showing what they can, doing it practical from what I could see and if they can't do something, they hide it. I didn't recall any CGI so if there was, it was hidden and that is well done in my book. I will also give credit here to the cinematography as well to hide it.
In conclusion here, I had a lot of fun with this movie. I heard people enjoying this and I'm glad that I took their lead to see this. This is an interesting take on the slasher genre. We are getting to see a character we establish as being strong and having him be taken against his will. The acting is good in building these characters which helps to move the story as well as bring some comedy to it. Not enough to hurt the tension though either. The effects we get look good and I have no issues there or with the cinematography. The other thing to say is that the soundtrack fit for what was needed as well. I would say this is a good movie in my opinion and one I'm looking forward to seeing again before the year ends to see what I might have missed here.
My Rating: 8 out of 10