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Hellgate (2011)

William Hurt , Cary Elwes , John Penney  |  Unrated |  DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Cary Elwes
  • Directors: John Penney
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer 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
"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.
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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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not great but I still liked it for some reason June 17, 2013
By Rick H
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
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.


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.


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.
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