Recently, I sat down with Jay (from "We Came From the Basement") to watch a film that they had been "pimping" pretty hard as part of their October 2012 "Month From Hell" special- a special that included an interview with Corey Feldman. Yes, THAT Corey Feldman. The film was "6 Degrees of Hell"...
After a brutal mass murder at a Halloween attraction called, "Hotel of Horror," Kyle Brenner- a paranormal investigator, arrives to get to the bottom of things...
I have to admit, I was really looking forward to seeing this movie- especially since I grew up in the 1980's watching many of the movies he'd been in. Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that many of the roles he created were memorable, and many of the movies he was in are classics of the 1980's.
Which is why I'm sad to say I was a little disappointed watching this movie.
The premise was an excellent starting point in my opinion. You've got a Halloween attraction that's supposed to be actually haunted. You got the staff filling the attraction with items that are actually haunted. You've got a staff member who has psychic abilities that kick things into action. And you have a paranormal investigator trying to find out what happened. That's great stuff in my mind. It provides a very firm skeleton to hang the flesh and muscle of a story on.
The problem comes from the fact that the Screenwriter, Harrison Smith, and the Director, Joe Raffa tried to put TOO much into the movie. There was a lot of jumping around with flashbacks between the different characters, and it all became jumbles. I actually had to ask Jay what was going on. Since the story is being recounted during an interview between the paranormal investigator and a cop, it would've made more sense to only show us what the cop knew about the events.
I really can't say too much about the characters because you don't really get to know them- especially with the confusion caused by the rather convoluted plot and over reliance on flashbacks regarding characters that aren't even directly involved in the story. Brenner, played by Corey Feldman was interesting, but not developed much.
In general, the acting is what can be expected from most movies in the "low budget horror" realm: cheesy to average. I did enjoy the "Hotel of Horror" performers- especially when things really kick off and they get to go to town on the patrons. It was a cool idea to have the actual "Hotel of Horror" staff (which IS an actual Halloween attraction that is supposed to be haunted) I think. While Faust Checho, who plays Police Chief John Hansen was a great actor, he did have a wonderfully creepy smile. I also liked Corey Feldman's performance, but was quite disappointed that he wasn't in it very much. You would think that using most of your budget for a big name star, you'd use him as much as you could, right? Apparently not.
The best part of the movie is the last act- which takes place in the "Hotel of Horror", and involves the mass murder of the patrons. The camera work was interesting and energetic. When things started to get rolling, I was hoping to see some nice displays of blood and grue, considering the nature of the events that were taking place. If you're a lover of the crimson liquid, you'll probably be unsatisfied. I think the money they could've used for for grue went to pay for Corey Feldman.
I'm torn about which I would've wanted more.
"6 Degrees of Hell" left me wanting more of Corey Feldman's character (the ending leaves it open for a sequel centered on Brenner's investigation inside the "Hotel of Horror"- so there's hope for that), but left me ambivalent about whether watching a second movie would be worth the time. While I wouldn't pull this movie randomly off the shelf to watch, I would sit down with friends and beer to watch it again. I'm placing it in "The Bad" with hopes that a sequel would be more to my liking.