Here Comes Hell (2019)

I absolutely hate parties as they give me anxiety. I have a lot of bad memories of being at a party and just trying to make it through. If I know people there, I have the bad habit of hanging near the only people I know. I just get anxious around groups of people in a less-than-casual setting. I much prefer a barbecue or a hangout session where there is no pressure and nobody feels they have to put on a show for everybody else. My friend group’s hangouts are low-key and tame and that is the way that I like it. I can sit and chat about geeky stuff with people I know and trust. I remember being forced to attend dinner parties growing up. It was usually with my parents’ friends whose kids I really did not enjoy hanging out with. It was fancy and I’m not really into fancy. The worst was college parties where I was the only sober one. A friend told me that the best medication for my anxiety is to drown it in alcohol and I am so glad I never went down that road. I could have easily become addicted and I would be in a poor state now if I was still alive.

It is even worse when you add in the wealthy. I have been to parties thrown by rich people and they are almost never much fun unless you can find somebody who is not uptight (and good luck with that). I grew up middle class and I am privileged to have had the life that I have. I feel extra privileged to have grown up that way as I feel like I am more easily satisfied. Rich people pay so much money to get things “just so”. I much prefer a good potluck with stuff that humans actually eat. I also do not really connect with the world of the rich. We have very different political views, cultural touchstones, and focuses in life. I can fake it for a while but I want to be relaxed and comfortable, not uptight and worried about what other people are thinking about me.

The first thing I noticed was that the movie is a tribute to old-school horror and 1930s movies in general. Small spoiler, the movie begins with a warning announcement for people of weaker dispositions to turn back. The movie is in black and white which is a novelty for a movie made in 2019. They even got the rear-projected driving scenes in there. The movie is a slow burn spending plenty of time on a comedy of manners and the relationships between the main characters. The movie’s sound design is especially good with loud sound effects and a very noticeable string instrument score that highlights the tense parts. The set design is very interesting as well as we are in an old broken-down mansion. The gore is very good in a very cartoony way that still manages to be scary. 

I loved the intentionally hammy acting which again mimics the older days of horror and thrillers. It is definitely acting of a time when people were shifting over from the world of vaudeville and theater. A lot of the actors speak with an exaggerated and accentuated high-class British accent which really feels like Universal Pictures. Jessica Webber is our point of view character, the one working class person and she is soft and likable. By contrast, Margaret Clunie is brash and clashes with everybody. Timothy Renouf plays a too-cool-for-school tennis player who is all too interested in having fun and keeping up appearances. Charlie Robb plays the goofball life of the party who is constantly stirring the pot. Tom Bailey plays the gruff American, a tough guy with a soft spot. When things go down, the acting gets even hammier and I loved it. It reminded me of Evil Dead 2 or Return of the Living Dead.

Overall, I loved this movie. It could have succumbed to being just the black-and-white/retro gimmick but it managed to be more than that. There were some really spooky moments that definitely gave me pause. The exaggerated nature of the acting made people unpredictable in a crisis. There were also a lot of little surprises that were eye-opening. I recommend this movie.

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