6 Degrees of Hell is not a vehicle for Corey Feldman, as much as the cover and marketing press for the film would indicate. He’s the sole actor in the entire movie with any prior name recognition to the public, but his scenes are only loosely tied to the meat of the story. It’s a token role that probably only took a couple of days to shoot, as Feldman plays the role of a paranormal investigator hearing a police officer recall his version of the events in the movie.
In Pennsylvania, “Uncle Jack’s Hotel of Horror” is a local Halloween attraction, a haunted house filled with supposedly occult objects meant to entertain paying customers. Jack’s college-aged nephew, Kellen (played by director Joe Raffa in double duty), and Kellen’s friends, June (Nicole Cinaglia) and Chris (David Bonner), unleash a terrible evil when a cursed object is brought to the hotel. 6 Degrees Of Hell piles one horror trope upon another in its confusing narrative, from a psychic girl and demon possession with a dash of Rosemary’s Baby, to the new trend of ghost hunters in the manner of reality television.
The first act is hard to follow, as flashbacks within flashbacks occur without much warning to the viewer that the time period has changed between scenes. It only goes downhill from that point, as the serious approach taken to the story and tone require a level of acting skill the inexperienced cast simply can’t meet.
Nicole Cinaglia as the troubled woman with psychic gifts puts forward the best performance, out of a young cast that needs a lot more experience and seasoning on the screen. No one in the cast plays the role of being possessed by a demon very well and it’s a critical failure to the movie’s chances of establishing any legitimate fear. The conflict in the plot is driven by a ridiculous confrontation between Kellen and the local police chief.
It can’t be said that this is a good movie but there are certain things to like about it. Jaded horror fans will have seen everything in the tired script before, but the physical make-up effects of the last act are truly impressive, on par with a Hollywood feature. Joe Raffa’s direction is steady and a cut above most direct-to-video fare, even if he can’t wring much true drama from the cast. The concept would have worked better if the script had been more polished and the movie had been edited in a less confusing narrative. I cannot recommend a blind purchase unless one is highly tolerant of the problems inherent to low-budget horror movies.
Say what you will about the movie itself, but no one can really criticize the stunning clarity of the video quality on this Blu-ray. Breaking Glass Pictures has given the 89-minute film a nearly perfect presentation. Shot on one of the latest high-end digital cameras, the Red Scarlet X camera, 6 Degrees Of Hell has been directly taken from a 2K digital intermediate to create the 1080P transfer of this Blu-ray edition. The digital cinematography is almost too clean for a horror movie.
Framed in the native aspect ratio of the Red Scarlet X camera, 1:78:1, the movie has been nicely shot in a way that hides its low-budget origins as much as possible. The most questionable parts to the image are the brief appearances of poor CGI and the slightly blown-out look. On a more subjective note, the digital color timing goes astray in a few scenes with odd choices for tinting. But the visible detail is fabulous, showcasing the wonderful detail of the physical make-up in the last act of the film. This is an unfiltered picture that sparkles with ultra-high resolution. A tiny hint of ringing is apparent in select scenes that could easily be overlooked.
The main feature and everything else fits on a BD-25. The video is encoded in AVC at an average bitrate of 19.82 Mbps. While that is normally sufficient for the very clean digital image, there are a handful of scenes where compression artifacts intrude on the generally pristine picture.
Both of the audio options for 6 Degrees Of Hell are unremarkable. The main offering is a very restrained 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix that rarely goes beyond the confines of the front soundstage. Dialog is a bit tough to make out on occasion as some lines are muffled, though the musical score is classier than what one would expect from a production of this budget. A few scenes are filled with a more active sound design, but the Foley work is amateurish at best. Effective sound design is typically a prime component of horror films and the mix does little to heighten the mood in 6 Degrees Of Hell.
A secondary audio option is a 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack at 448 kbps. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are provided.
The following list might look impressive at first glance, but it’s a spotty bunch of special features beyond the brief making-of featurette. Most are superfluous and add almost nothing of real value to the disc.
World Premiere of 6 Degrees Of Hell (3 minutes in HD) – A very brief piece highlighting the movie’s premiere.
The Making Of 6 Degrees Of Hell (10 minutes in HD) – The only extra of any real consequence, it’s not too long but interviews a number of key participants, including the actors and the screenplay’s writer.
Behind The Scenes Corey Feldman Bloopers (14 seconds in SD) – Only featured to include Feldman’s name as a marketing point in the special features, it’s worthless to view.
Corey Feldman Interview with Connie Roberts (4 minutes in SD) – A brief interview with a local television reporter.
Joe Versus The Hotel (5 minutes in SD) – Director Joe Raffa visits the real hotel of horror.
NEPA Ghost Detectives Promo (1 minute in SD)
The Hotel Of Horror Commercial (1 minute in SD)
6 Degrees Of Hell Teaser
6 Degrees Of Hell Theatrical trailer
6 Degrees Of Hell Trailer B
Breaking Glass Trailers