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Hellgate [Import]

 Unrated   DVD

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Ifc Independent Film
  • Release Date: March 19 2013
  • ASIN: B00AADAENA

Product Description

Following a car accident during a visit to Thailand that left him in a coma and his wife and son dead, Jeff (Cary Elwes, Saw) awakens to discover he is able to see the specters of people who have died horribly. Seeking peace of mind, Jeff is led to a spiritual adviser (William Hurt, A History of Violence) who explains that these souls are trapped in a shadow world, forced to relive their own deaths for eternity - and that Jeff's family is facing the same fate. In order to save them, he must pass into the shadow world and set their souls free, without losing his own to the demons within. Haunting, tense, and thrilling, Hellgate is an unforgettable journey to the other side.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good cast, but we've seen it all before March 28 2013
By The Movie Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Hellgate" is a ghost story with an above-average cast. On a visit to Bangkok, American Jeff (Cary Elwes, "The Princess Bride"), his Thai wife, Sua, and their son, Kyle, are hit by a truck as they drive to the home of Sua's father. Jeff awakens from a coma six weeks later and learns that Sua and Kyle did not survive. He also discovers that he can see the spectres of people who have died horribly.

The plot is hardly original: a human dares to infiltrate the world of the supernatural knowing his life is on the line. Ghosts have not proven to be the most frightening of supernatural entities, however. The creatures are creatively horrible, but that's about it. Elwes walks through the script, offering an uninspired performance, hardly masking his disdain for the material. William Hurt as a spiritual advisor, however, gives it his all and dominates the final third of the movie.

The only bonus extra on this DVD release is a theatrical trailer.
1.0 out of 5 stars Like walking through a bad Asian Halloween haunted house April 12 2014
By Doctor Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I bought this used, thank goodness, at the local video store, forced myself to finish it (hoping for it to get better, but it never did), and actually just threw it in the trash can (I kept the nice clear case--a $1 return on my $2 investment). The horror element is just a bunch of small Asian demons fitted with cheap Halloween teeth and smeared with white make-up and fake blood--sticking their faces out at the audience like the amateur actors at the local haunted houses during Halloween. Even when they attack Elwes, he just knocks them off with his bare hands, so it is impossible to be afraid of them. I have several thousands of DVDs collected (mostly horror), and this is just the second that was so bad that I didn't even bother trying to trade it back for something else (the other was "The Host," which rates about two stars down from this one). I think I have a social disconnect with Asian horror, although I otherwise generally respect Asian people and their culture. I didn't really expect Asian horror from Elwes and Hurt--which seemed sort of misleading since all of the other characters are Asian.. As for the story, Elwes' character's family (his wife is a pretty Asian woman) is killed in a car accident that he survives, and the mystic Asian community must lead him to the "shadow side" to say goodbye so that he can continue with his life back in the real world (where he seems to have fallen in love with the pretty Asian nurse who has gone out of her way to care for him). OK--very predictable, no surprise or sudden scares here either. All-in-all, a boring walk through a haunted house, where you, too, can drop your copy in the trash can on the way out the door.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great but I still liked it for some reason June 17 2013
By Rick H - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This was basically a missed opportunity that, in the right hands, could have been so much more. I was drawn to watch the film on Netflix because, 1. I like creepy films, 2. William Hurt was one of the key players, so I figured if he was in it, it must be pretty good. Well, no, it wasn't and I couldn't help but wonder what his thoughts were while watching his various scenes - maybe something like: "How did I get to this point in my career?" One interesting thing to note about his role here, however, was that in the last 20 minutes or so, it did remind me a bit of his role in Altered States (30-something years ago and a MUCH superior film) so that was kinda cool. The other positive of the film was the pretty Thai female lead (character name: Choi) - I hope she appears in some more US films at some point. Regardless of the negatives I've mentioned here, the movie did keep me interested enough to keep watching til the end. Oh yeah, the hellish demons near the end were fairly nightmarish.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You may not want to open Hellgate--some interesting moments but largely unsuccessful supernatural thriller Jan. 29 2013
By Wayne Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Sometimes an actor needs a paid vacation to Thailand to get by and, in the case of John Penney's "Hellgate", you get the sense that actors Cary Elwes (Princess Bride: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]) and Academy Award winner William Hurt (The Accidental Tourist and Altered States [Blu-ray])needed to do just that. To be fair to both actors, I'm sure that they felt the roles they were offered were interesting, it's just a pity that this isn't a better movie.

"Hellgate" does have an interesting premise and writer-director John Penney does create an atmospheric looking film, he just fails to create memorable characters with any sense of depth.

SPOILERS:

When Jeff Matthews (Elwes)travels to Thailand he finds his life filled with tragedy--his wife and son are killed in a car accident while traveling with Matthews. When Matthews recovers he discovers that he can see the shadow world--a world between the living and the dead where restless, trapped spirits exist along with creatures that are trying to pull Matthews into their world. With the assistance of Choi (Ploy Jindachote in a woefully underwritten part)his care giver and Warren (Hurt) a man who has experienced the shadow world before, Jeff tries to find a way to protect himself from the shadow world before it consumes him.

END OF SPOILERS:

The film looks impressive especially given its small budget ($5 million)but, ultimately, the film just doesn't deliver and isn't much better than a Syfy channel original movie. It's a pity because the premise of the film and the performances from Elwes and Hurt are much stronger than the film itself.

If you feel compelled to see "Hellgate", I'd suggest a rental.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HELLGATE Is An 80's Film Made 30 Years Too Late March 13 2013
By Edward Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Was this the mid-80's, I've no doubt that HELLGATE probably would've created a bigger sensation. Its drama/horror hybrid story definitely would've found an audience in the home video market. Its flashy images of blood-drenched cannibals would've been the stuff of popular nightmares. And its second-tier stars - Cary Elwes definitely trying to pull his best Brad Pitt and William Hurt at the tail end of a usually impressive career - probably would've given the flick some `street cred' with typical viewers. Therein lies the problem - it isn't the mid-80's; every studio in the market is churning out affordable horror flicks by the dozen; and too much of the film is presented with a languid detachment more interested in the passing scenery than it is with bringing a true horror concept to the centerstage.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Jeff (played by Cary Elwes) only wanted to take his wife and son to visit their family in Thailand, but a freak automobile accident robs his loved ones of their lives. He's left behind - broken and battered from the crash - but, when he awakens, he realizes that he's been `blessed' with the ability to see into the Shadow World, a frightening bridge to the Other Side where those suffering in a kind of proverbial limbo share a bloody afterlife. However, this psychic bridge is slowly sucking Jeff's life away. With the help of spiritualist Warren Mills (William Hurt), Jeff learns that he needs to cross over if for no other reason but to say goodbye to his wife and son so that he may get back to the business of living his life.

Writer/director John Penney has a respectable resume - moreso as writer than director - and, to his credit, he peppers much of HELLGATE with a heavy atmosphere of dread. Much of it looks good - its smartly photographed and fairly well assembled with an almost workmanlike efficiency - but the problem I had with the narrative is that so little of his proposed `Shadow World' makes perfect sense. The story tells us it works one way, but - moments later - we see it working differently, and this happens with increasing regularity as the picture wears on. Come the end, we learn that (apparently) from only one place on the planet - the remains of a temple in (fortunately) a nearby jungle - can the residents of our world cross into it, and this serves as the catalyst for Jeff to right this supernatural wrong.

Like so many horror films, HELLGATE isn't a bad film. Much of its failings are in its execution - a too easy script, some too predictable moments, and some too unattached performances. As I said above, in other time and another place HELLGATE might've received a warmer welcome. Sadly, Elwes slumbers through what seems to be an Ambien-fueled performance while Hurt delivers many of his lines like he's mimicking William Shatner, so the real punch that could've lifted the mundane to the exciting gets lost in the shuffle. Still, there's enough legitimate atmosphere that it may earn a respectable cult following now that it's seen the broader light of day with this DVD release, but only time will tell if HELLGATE will earn another passing.

HELLGATE is produced by Angel & Bear Productions, Capitol Motion Pictures, and Hybrid Pictures. DVD distribution is being handled through MPI Media Group under the IFC Midnight label. As for the technical specifications, the film looks and sounds above average, but I thought quite a bit of Cary Elwes vocal delivery left some of nuances more than a bit to be desired. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that HELLGATE won the `Best Film' award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival as well as the `Best Horror Film' at Italy's Fantasy Horror Awards. As is often the case with these smaller releases, there are no special features to speak of except the theatrical trailer.

RECOMMENDED. Heavy on atmosphere but light on smarts, HELLGATE suffers from its two main actors mostly `phoning it in.' Heck, even Elwes expression looks most of the time like even he doesn't believe what he's saying. The ideas here are interesting, but they just didn't get fleshed out enough for them to seem fully formed. As it is, it's easily forgettable, though it has moments of true horror inspiration when it loses itself in the shadows.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at MPI Media Group provided me with an advance DVD copy of HELLGATE for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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