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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Kevin Kopacka

Reviewer: Martyn Wakefield

‘Hades’ is a puzzle box that needs to be played with multiple times to unlock its secrets. Kevin Kopacka’s short film is layered with depth and is a gift that keeps on giving.

Trapped in a dream state, a young girl enters a number of rooms, each representing one of the five rivers of Hades and each resembling different stages of her relationship. Trapped somewhere between David Lynch and Dario Argento, Kopacka’s love for giallo and arthouse is made clear as each doorway opens up to a nightmarish scene yet never differentiates itself too much as to feel abstract from the whole film.

Without a single spoken word, the story’s narrative is expressed through on screen words as the young girl enters each room and the events that occur showcase her troubled relationship as she delves deeper and deeper into her dream.

For fans of the colourful giallo films of the 70’s, especially Susperia, will feel right at home here but the film opens up to a new audience who may be more familiar with creepy arthouse exhibitions such as ‘Under the Skin’ and ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ that leave an imprint on the viewer’s mind making this a truly unforgettable movie. Anna Heidegger is sensation as the lost beauty and her emotion is portrayed brilliantly and without words. Her struggle to transgress from one room to the other becomes more of a struggle as she attempts to leave her most troubled experiences. Accompanied by a magnificent score, ‘Hades’ truly is a wonder to absorb.

Beyond its technicolor coat and aural beauty, there’s an art to Kopacka’s work that really is inspiring. Fundamentally setting the benchmark for other film-makers is an uprising of horror fans who are looking back to look forward. The mainstream genre is pulling all of the box office numbers but leave little room for originality and truly memorable experiences. As enjoyable as the likes of ‘The Gallows’, ‘Unfriended’ and ‘The Visit’ were, their structure was all too familiar and so with ‘Hades’, although only 15 minutes in length, showcases there is still an underground independent scene that lurks for the attention of big studio bosses and may ‘Hades’ be the poster child for that movement.

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