• Lilith’s Hell

    Released by: Unearthed Films
    Released on: October 17th, 2017.
    Director: Vincenzo Petrarolo
    Cast: Ruggero Deodato, Sebastiano Lo Monaco, Marcus J. Cotterell, Federico Palmieri, Joelle Rigollet
    Year: 2015
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    The Movie:

    When this found footage style horror pictures begins, a filmmaker named Ryan (Marcus J. Cotterell) arrives in Rome here he meets his friend Marco (Vincenzo Petrarolo) who has secured for him a location to use on a horror film that they want to make together. They’ve even gone so far as to get Ruggero Deodato (who plays himself in the picture) onboard. The location is a fairly massive and surprisingly modern home that belongs to Marco’s grandparents and is located out in the Italian countryside. They travel together to the home and start out scoping the place out and planning their shoot where they meet up with Alberto (Federico Palmieri), their cameraman.

    Later that night, their leading lady, Michelle (Manuela Stanciu), arrives with her assistant Sara (Joelle Rigollet) in tow. She’s more concerned with scoring some coke and getting high than the job she’s been hired to do, but Marco’s enthusiasm for having two attractive ladies around is obvious, even if it’s clear that Ryan is less than impressed. It’s decided, after a bit of partying, that the best thing to do would be for everyone to try and get a good night’s sleep. That doesn’t last long though – soon after retiring for the night everyone starts to be woken up by loud noises emanating from inside the house. Before you know it, Michelle is possessed, Alberto is a bloody mess and the shit has hit the proverbial fan.

    Director Vincenzo Petrarolo doesn’t reinvent the wheel with this picture but Lilith’s Hell is a decent entry in the found footage horror niche. Those pre-disposed to hate the style employed here won’t likely be won over but this does prove to be a decent way for Petrarolo to tell us story on what was clearly a pretty modest budget. To the filmmaker’s credit and without spoiling the ending, there are at least some original ideas here and they’re rather well executed. The effects are solid, Petrarolo is savvy enough not to overextend his reach here, and when things go off the rails in the last half of the picture there’s a decent amount of tension. The movie does, however, take a bit of time to get going, which might try the patience of those looking for a quick fix.

    As to the acting, it’s fairly solid. Deodatao’s appearance in the film is really more of a cameo than anything else but it’s fun to see him pop up here. Petrarolo, who does double duty as one of the male leads, is good as the more happy-go-lucky one of the pair, while Cotterell is convincing enough Ryan, the one taking all of this considerably more seriously. Joelle Rigollet and Manuela Stanciu are the strongest parts of the film, however. Stanciu in particular goes from spoiled, bratty actress to possessed demoness quite effectively.


    The 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer on the disc looks about as good as it should. This is shot digitally using a lot of handheld camerawork, so obviously there’s no print damage to note, but detail can and will vary depending on how quickly things are moving, lighting in a particular scene and other variables. It works given the film’s found footage style aesthetic.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track on the disc is fine. Most of the film is spoken in Italian, and English subtitles are provided. When the movie occasionally uses English dialogue, the subs stay on the screen but don’t always translate things so accurately. Again, quality will jump around a bit depending on what’s happening on screen but for the most part the track is properly balanced and free of any issues.

    As far as the extra features are concerned, we start with sixteen minutes of cast and crew interviews involving director Vincenzo Petrarolo, actor Federico Palmieri, composer Massimo Cardamone and set designer Tarascio. Each participant discusses their responsibilities and experiences in terms of making the picture as well as their thoughts on the project.

    Up next is an interview with Ruggero that runs just over thirty-four minutes in length. Here the storied director discusses his appearance in the picture, how and why he came to act in the film, some stories about making Cannibal Holocaust and his thoughts on various other modern horror pictures that have mad an impression on him in recent years.

    The disc also includes menus, chapter selection and trailers for a half dozen other releases available from Unearthed Films.

    The Final Word:

    Lilith’s Hell takes a little while to get going but it ends strongly. Those with an aversion to found footage films won’t be won over by this one, but it’s interesting to see an Italian take on this type of thing and Deodato’s involvement will definitely pique the interest of his fan base. Unearthed Films’ DVD release looks and sounds about as good as it probably should and it includes some decent extra features as well.