Bloody Hell – a bloody brilliant indie horror/comedy

16th January 2021

Bloody Hell is available to rent or buy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We all have days, weeks or months when nothing seems to go right. Most of us hope these days will quickly pass and not turn into years of turmoil. However, others simply ride the wave, seeking the best bits from an otherwise shit situation. Ex-soldier Rex (Ben O’Toole) is definitely someone who looks for the best in every situation despite his relentless lousy luck. Rex has only just been released from prison after intervening in a violent bank robbery where his actions saved a whole host of lives but also led to the accidental death of a bank worker hiding in a cupboard.

But, as Rex would say, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs”. Anyway, Rex is keen to leave his past behind and make a new start in his home town of Boise, Idaho, but is equally unaware of his new celebrity status. Here his heroic actions in foiling the robbery are plastered across every magazine and news channel. Of course, some people would bathe in this newfound celebrity status, but not Rex, who books a flight to Helsinki just weeks after his release.


However, as I said earlier, Rex has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and on arrival in Finland, a taxi journey results in him being strung up in a family basement in the middle of nowhere. As he swings on a hook, his initial thoughts of escape are hampered by the fact that one of his legs appears to be missing!

Director Alister Grierson offers us an engaging and fresh horror/comedy which owes much to the dark humour found at the heart of Raimi’s Evil Dead Part II (1987) while equally taking inspiration from Stephen King’s Misery. However, what brings Bloody Hell to life, is its combination of torture porn, folk horror and humour. Here the engaging and dynamic performance of Ben O’Toole is magnetic and eccentric as the all-American hero is dovetailed with the devout selfishness of a man who just wants to be left alone. Equally assured is the development of the family unit sitting at the heart of the horror, as each family member is given the space to flesh (pardon the pun) out their place in the story of a family unit turned sour.


The comedy may not quite hit the heights of Two Heads Creek (2020), but Robert Benjamin’s screenplay is nonetheless inspired by a mashup of horror ideas that shouldn’t work but do to dazzling effect. Bloody Hell is a film that understands the importance of its characters, the blood and gore secondary to the script and performances. The result is a deliciously dark slice of horror/comedy that has ‘cult status’ written all over it.

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