Two words for ya: found footage. All right, who’s still with me…hmm, a lot less of you then before that’s for damn sure. Now while the genre definitely is showing signs of fatigue, I for one think there are new and creative (or at the bare bones minimum “entertaining”) things you can do with the formula…let’s see if the maker’s of today’s review Lilith’s Hell managed to work any magic with the ol’ hoary chestnut…
Three film makin’ pals traverse the countryside just outside of Rome to arrive at a remote house with the goal of making an artsy fartsy fright flick. After the arrival of Michelle, the lead actress of their piece, and her make-up artist, events begin going supernaturally south with alarming speed, as things begin to go bump (and moan) in the night. Our gang investigates with the end result of Michelle becoming the Devil’s concubine and playing host to a demonic entity that begins tearing into the group six ways to Sunday. The remainder of the flick deals with the remnants of our erstwhile cast attempting to survive the outre onslaught ‘natch.
So that’s the skinny on the story, but is Lilith’s Hell worth a watch? Ultimately, I would say “yes”. The small cast is strong, and since their are so few players, we get a real sense of who each person is and begin to care about them, resulting in some palpable tension during the grizzly goings-on. While we are on the subject of “characters”, I have to make special mention of the performance given by Manuela Stanciu as Michelle, then possessed starlet that gives everyone such a hell of a time. Stanciu’s performance is great to behold as she goes from drama-fueled actress to evil-fueled demoness with equally entertaining aplomb. Also in the plus column are some fantastically intense exorcism sequences, impressive gore, and a fun (and fitting) cameo by Italian horror maestro Ruggero Deodato (who’s 1980 opus Cannibal Holocaust basically invented the found footage horror genre).
As for the beastly bonus content, this DVD release is a lil’ on the light side as it contains interviews with the cast and crew (Deodato is included in his own separate interview) and that’s all fiends.
If you are a fan of found footage flicks, Lilith’s Hell is one of the stronger efforts the genre has produced in a good long time, and is worth seeking out…and if your not a fan, I doubt this film will convert you, but it is filled with demonic mayhem and strong performances so you may find something here to enjoy as well.