As a filmmaker and aspiring FX artist, I was excited to review Gehenna: Where Death Lives, which is the first feature film from FX artist and director Hiroshi Katagiri. Katagiri’s FX and sculpts have been featured in such films as Castle Freak, Doom, Jurassic Park III, Skinwalkers, Exists, and Blade: Trinity. On top of that, the film stars legendary actors Doug Jones (The Shape of Water, Hellboy) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead), as well as Eva Swan and Simon Phillips.
Gehenna: Where Death Lives follows Paulina (Eva Swan) and a team who are visiting Saipan in hopes to purchase land for Paulina’s boss, Morgan (Lance Henriksen), who is looking to build a beachside vacation resort. However, the locals are not happy and protesting the sale of the land because it is an ancient burial ground. As the crew check the property, they stumble upon a WWII bunker and become trapped inside with gruesome relics left behind from the war. While trying to survive, they start dealing with issues such as flashbacks, paranoia, and hallucinations, but when the group stumbles upon the actual burial site, the suspense gets even more amplified.
After watching the trailer, I had expected Gehenna: Where Death Lives to be more of a slow burn, however the film kept a nice pace and the supernatural scares, suspense, and tension remained constant throughout the film. Of course, the special effects is top-notch, which is to be expected with Katagiri at the director’s helm.
Gehenna: Where Death Lives grabbed my attention from the opening scene and kept me on the edge of my seat as the story grew beyond my expectations. If you are looking for a paranormal horror film that features some well done special effects, as well as a few gruesome deaths, you can check out Gehenna: Where Death Lives now on Amazon.
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