While revenge movies are usually riddled with cliches and gruesome fan service, every now and then a movie comes along and breathes new life into the genre. And that movie is Cold Hell, a new German and Austrian film production that shows sometimes revenge is a dish best served hot.

Cold Hell follows Özge (Violetta Schurawlow), a taxi driver who witnesses the murder of a prostitute in a luxury hotel room across from her small apartment. The killer notices and will stop at nothing to silence her. She’s on the run throughout the city, as the killer mistakes Özge’s cousin as her and brutally murders her, while leaving her toddler daughter orphaned. Özge quickly turns the tables on the killer, as she stops being the hunted, but rather is now the hunter.

Throughout Cold Hell, director Stefan Ruzowitzky shows a lot of empathy towards Özge struggle as an Turkish immigrant who constantly takes abuse from her male passengers and the police. She takes out her aggression with kickboxing, but even the men at her gym don’t take her seriously as a fighter or threat.

Even when Özge is helped by a sympathetic detective (Tobias Moretti), the film subverts the audience’s expectations of a heroic and male character like a police officer. He’s not there to save her, but only there to give her emotional support and access to the serial killer.

In many ways, Cold Hell takes the “damsel in distress” trope and turns it on its head and gives a viewer something new and exciting to watch from the genre. A character like Özge goes a long way to deal with being stalked, a surrogate mother, an almost lover, and a jilted and abused daughter.

Violetta Schurawlow, overall, has the acting chops and screen presence of a Noomi Rapace or a Alicia Vikander. Cold Hell could be a star making turn for the Russian actress, but for right now, the revenge film plays around with the genre cliches as it delivers a wonderful punch with visceral action and real drama.

Story – A-
Acting – A-
Technical – B+
Overall – A-

Aggregate Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Brand Name
Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Product Name
Cold Hell

By Rudie Obias

Lives in Brooklyn, New York. He's a freelance writer interested in cinema, pop culture, sex lifestyle, science fiction, and web culture. His work can be found at Mental Floss, Movie Pilot, UPROXX, ScreenRant, Battleship Pretension and of course Shockya.com.

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