Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Writer: Martin Ambrosch
Stars: Violetta Schurawlow, Tobias Moretti, Robert Palfrader
Cold Hell folds the revenge genre in different ways that make it both thrilling and challenging.
Özge, a taxi drive in Vienna lives a fairly solitary life. A determined, prickly and uncompromising person, who is also an accomplished kickboxer. Özge finds her self witness to a (very) grisly murder, not only did she see the murder but she also saw the killer – and he saw her…
Cold Hell is a mix of quiet thrills, drama and some hard action sequences. Özge’s penchant for pummelling the shit out of people that piss her off / get in her way / try to kill her, sets the film on kilter as you just never sure how she will react. She is a good person at heart but her family history gives a very hardened edge, as her ex-boyfriend puts it – You can’t love anyone. It is interesting to put a challenging personality in the middle of a revenge film but it really works, making the audience cheer for Özge whilst not agreeing with everything she does.
Director Stefan Ruzowitzky puts together some thrilling stalk scenes as well as some cracking action sequences, including a taxi attack that rivals I Saw The Devil. Whilst not being as overtly brutal as that film, it certainly packs a punch when comes to on screen violence. Özge’s kickboxing moves are felt with crunching hit and any punishment meted out to Özge is just as brutal.
Violetta Schurawlow is really powerful as Özge, she portrays that beaten down but not defeated demeanour so well, with the bubbling under current of anger. She brings a physicality to the role that is rarely seen in female characters – even ‘tough’ female characters.
Despite being a little heavy-handed with themes like being emotionally accessible (A Detective Özge meets literally asks her to communicate with him) Cold Hell mixes in the social commentary amongst the serial killer story and the film is better for it. When not being chased by or chasing the killer, it is the quite character moments that help build the film up. A very solid thriller with some excellent action moments, Cold Hell is worth the trip.
COLD HELL is a SHUDDER Exclusive.
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Ted Geoghegan