Movie Reviews: 'Hell and Back'

By Aric Sweeny

Hell and Back (REVIEW)

“Hell and Back” tells the story of three childhood friends who all work at a failing carnival. When one of them breaks a blood oath and lands in Hell, the other two venture on into the unknown with the mission of saving their friend.

I really wasn’t a fan of the animation style from the get-go, but it really grew on me. Once our main protagonists actually got to Hell, I was loving the look of the film. Hell was filled with all kinds of weird and creepy creatures, making it visually intriguing. In Hell, we meet the absolute best character of the movie, The Devil. Not only was The Devil funny, but he actually had an arch throughout the film and had unexpected layers. He reminded me of The Devil from “South Park”, which isn’t a bad thing in the slightest.

Our main character, Remy, provided much needed wit and non-sexual humor (mostly). Remy was a joy to watch on-screen, mostly due to the fact that most of his jokes weren’t as crude as some of the other characters’ lines. 

I need to mention the fantastic cast that this film assembled; Nick Swardson, Rob Riggle, Mila Kunis, T.J. Miller, Michael Pena, Bob Odenkirk, and many others. With this cast, the film has to be amazing, right? Well, not exactly. While it’s not a bad movie, it just simply relies too heavily on sex jokes to keep it afloat. Now, that’s not to say that they weren’t funny at times, but there were definitely too many thrown in there.

The film is filled with dark comedy. But this dark comedy isn’t entertaining like something from say, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” or “South Park”, it’s a type of dark comedy that makes you feel uncomfortable while watching it. Some jokes were just taken too far. And, while I won’t give details, there is a certain scene towards the end that just makes you question the sanity of the film’s writers. 

Overall, “Hell and Back” places too much reliance on its crudity to make much use of the stellar voice cast. Although the majority of the film fell flat, there was a portion that was extremely enjoyable. 

My Rating: 2.8/5