Saturday, January 19, 2013

Joe Raffa's 6 DEGREES OF HELL: What the hell has the hand-held revolution wrought?

What's this? TrustMovies asked himself as the Bu-ray edition of 6 DEGREES OF HELL fell out of the envelope and onto his floor. Had he actually requested this movie to watch and cover?Hmmm... "It's possible," he thought, as he stuck it into his "To Watch" pile. But why? The marketing ploy appeared to be a certain Corey Feldman, that actor who, along with the late Corey Haim, made it medium-big amongst the teen set back in the 1980s. Evidently, this fellow is still with us.

Although Mr. Feldman (above, left) appears in 6 Degrees of Hell, he is in no way paramount to the plot shenanigans. He has a couple of scenes in a police station, giving a little exposition to a cop, and then he's back again at the movie's close. Acting-wise, he's not bad, but his appearance has more to do, I suspect, with getting the movie bankrolled than with anything else.

As a low-budget, hey-kids-let's-make-a-horror-movie, 6DofH isn't bad, either. Director Joe Raffa (at right, who also plays one of the major roles) and writer Harrison Smith do a surprisingly decent job of providing creepy moments and a vibrancy/vitality that comes, I think, from the combination of using hi-def video and performers who throw themselves into things, no matter how bizarre and seemingly disconnected some of those things may seem. Scene by scene, this film is a hell of lot more interesting and creepy than a piece of would-be scare garbage like Paranormal Activity and its offspring.

Involving stories on top of stories, the filmmakers and cast manage to keep things rolling and logical (well, at least as logical as these horror-fantasies usually are): We have Halloween doings (above) at one of these "haunted houses," set up to scare the pants off paying guests; a group of teenagers (below) out for a little fun and maybe some sex; a not-so-nice local cop; and a few more assorted oddballs; and of course one pretty young woman who just night be (or provide) some sort of portal to an alternate world.

Toss all this together and mix relatively well, and you've got yourself a crazy, creepy scare fest with some chilling moments, as well as some that are... well, let's just say they're kind of silly. Overall, though, I'd say the chills outweigh the nonsense.

6 Degrees of Hell, from Breaking Glass Pictures, is available now on both Blu-ray and DVD, and probably via VOD and streaming, as well. If you're looking for an oddball scare-fest, you could do worse.

No comments: