Here Comes Hell is a mix of different ages and different tropes that releases campy demonic terror.
Here Comes Hell is a supernatural horror comedy that is an ode and parody to the early black and white talkies. Shot in black and white and in 4:3 creating a square image on screen it copies and parodies these early horror films in a most dramatic and theatrical style. But we get treated to fun odes of the eighties body horror and much more as well.
While at times some jokes are funny and the structure and buildup do resemble the style of early horrors, some jokes fall a bit flat and it’s a hit-and-miss at times. But the ending makes up for a lot and spirals into great supernatural horror with a surreal element that really does have a feel of these old horrors.
A wealthy heir invites his friends to a dinner party at his newly bought mansion. His sister Christine an arrogant socialite and her ex-fiancé George, a wealthy American oil tycoon, are invited as is his friend Freddie a famous tennis player and his new girlfriend Elizabeth. When the host also has invited a medium Madame Bellrose, to invoke the ghost of Ichabod Quinn the elusive former resident who was into the occult and has caught the interest of the host, things spiral out of control and they have to fight for their lives in a horrific night.
Why you should watch it
Here Comes Hell is a fun mix between a goofy fun entertaining William Castle production like House on Haunted Hill (1959), but cheesier, the eighties gore as from The Evil Dead (1981) and imitates a perfect setting of the talkies of that era like The Old Dark House (1932) and the surrealism of Dead of Night (1945).
The underlying relationships are at best polite, but also are very mean-spirited and especially Christine has her insults aimed at poor Elizabeth who is anything but a wealthy girl, but a girl who has to work for her money. But that’s just what she needs to survive the hell that is about to break loose.
Although the setting of the thirties, the social interaction in the mix with eighties gore works very well and is well executed, the jokes sometimes fall a bit flat. There is something off balanced about the jokes, but that said it also depends on your own kind of humor if it works or not. For example, I thought the slapping accompanied by the piano scene was a hoot, but you may find this cheesy.
Nevertheless the gory bits are funny and gross. The monster that they have created is a pure ode to practical effects of the eighties and is cause for some gruesome scenes. Creating even more body horror that spirals out of control to release campy horror entertainment.
Meanwhile the personal issues, especially those of the two woman, which is mainly caused by Christine only, wanting both Freddie and George while she is jealous of Elizabeth will have some brutal consequences at the end.
Of course Elizabeth is the best choice for a final girl, who is used to fend for herself. She and Christine both aren’t afraid to fend off the demonic entities and use every weapon they can find. Which is a more modern take of the old talkies, where the men are the most likely to take action. Now the men try to, but fail miserably, while screaming in terror and fright.
Here Comes Hell works best if you know more about these old thirties films, William Castle productions of the fifties en sixties and of course the campy body horror of the eighties. It’s all combined but it has a new modern take on things. If you don’t see the parody in it, it will surely miss its mark.
My favorite part
Madame Bellrose who now roams the hallways as a horrifying creature is really funny and a well-made demonic entity. But that’s only the beginning. When Elizabeth descends down to the basement, Christine descends into a hallucinatory madness that both add some real good surrealism to the story. The mist, a welcome trope, the portal even more welcome and Elizabeth’s attempts in rescuing her new frenemy is the best part of the movie.
Here it takes on another level and the slow start that dives too much into the social and personal grievances that are handled crudely by mostly Christine is revenged in more than one way. It is also then that you forget that you are watching a recent film instead of an old movie, and that was the whole idea, that now has succeeded with great effort.
Gore factor: ★★★★☆
Originality factor: ★★★★☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★☆☆
Cast and crew
Here Comes Hell is directed and written by Jack McHenry and cowritten by Alice Sidgwick. It stars Jessica Webber (Elizabeth), Margaret Clunie (Christine), Tom Bailey (George), Timothy Renouf (Freddie), Jasper Britton (the host) and Maureen Bennett (Madame Bellrose).
Duration: 80 minutes. Music: Ben Pearson. Cinematography: Rory McHenry. Edited by: Sheila Wild. Produced by: Olivia Loveridge.