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Hellgate

2.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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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.

Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Cary Elwes
  • Directors: John Penney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • 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 (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AADAENA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,919 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2015
Format: DVD
Cary Elwes stars as Jeff Matthews, an American businessman who is visiting Bangkok with his Thai wife and son. After leaving the airport they are in a horrific auto accident which leave’s Jeff’s wife and son dead and him in a coma. When he finally wakes up, he finds that he is haunted by grisly visions of spirits who are imploring him for aid. Jeff eventually seeks the aid of a spiritualist who help him. She tells him that he has left a part of himself in the spirit world.

But to free himself from the hauntings he has to let go of his family but doing so involves battling demonic creatures who seek to keep his family’s souls for themselves. Matthews eventually meets another American who also lost a family member to the demonic creatures. Warren Mills (William Hurt) is a fellow American and kind of an old hippie sage who agrees to lead Matthews to the Hellgate in order to finally put his loved one’s souls to rest. But to do so he has to cross over into a spirit dimension populated by slavering demons who want to keep him there.

Hellgate is a very low budget film and apparently what budget they did have went to Elwes and Hurt because it certainly didn’t go towards any convincing visual effects. What effects the film does have comes mainly in the way of makeup. A lot of it is typical Asian-style horror makeup…you know, women with long dark hair and dark eyes popping out to provide cheap scares. The “demons” look more like zombies with mouths dripping in blood and pale eyes.

Elwes and Hurt are old pros and give fine performances as you would expect but they are caught up in a production with bad material which crawls at a snail’s pace.
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Format: DVD
The basic idea is not bad in this movie: a man (Cary Elwes) caught between the living world and the spirit realm due to a traumatic car accident. William Hurt delivers a solid performance in a supporting role, but the movie has pacing issues and Elwes is flat most of the time. The editing and sound are erratic and fail to convey the terror level the director seemed to be trying to achieve.
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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.
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Format: Amazon 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.

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.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I liked this movie. It had an unusual storyline. This man was caught between being alive and being dead. His wife and son died in a car accident and he didn't and he just couldn't let go of them. See it for yourself.
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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.
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