In Northeast Pennsylvania, "Uncle Jack's Hotel of Horror" is besieged by a dark presence after two friends of "Uncle" Jack, Chris and Kellen, unwittingly release a deadly evil by transporting local psychic Mary Wilkins' collection of haunted objects as props for the popular tourist attraction. At the same time, a local TV ghost hunter, confronts an evil that has haunted him all his life-one he believes is responsible for his sister's death years ago.
His search puts him in the path of a rogue police chief and June, a girl who seems to be the eye of this supernatural perfect storm. They all find themselves connected to the old hotel while the threads of their own personal horrors draw paranormal investigator Kyle Brenner (Corey Feldman) to pull all the threads together.
It's difficult to find a decent horror film these days. Sadly, there are only one or two a year that pass as average to decent, with the rest coming across as frightless garbage. Unfortunately, despite its decent plot and set up, '6 Degrees of Hell' falls into the category of rubbish. Needless to say, I was unimpressed and sorely disappointed.
I need to vent about films that draw you in by billing an actor as the lead, only to have you discover that a particular star's role is very small. This happens quite a bit when low budget films acquire a big name and put that person's face front and center on the posters and the Blu-ray cases. Now, while in this particular instance the only recognizable name is Corey Feldman, hardly an A-list actor nowadays, he receives top billing and his image is prominently featured on the cover. After viewing the film, not only does does Mr. Feldman appear only a few minutes in the film, but his character has no point to the story. So if you're expecting some good Corey Feldman screen-time, this is not the film you should watch.
I hate to come down on horror filmmakers, especially new ones, but there is a right way to do things and a wrong way. And Joe Raffa, who pulls double duty as director and actor, did a all of the wrong things. The set up and plot are decent enough, centering on a horror-themed hotel that becomes a grisly scene of some very horrific murders. Sounds decent enough, right? Wrong.
We start out with paranormal investigator Kyle Brenner (Feldman), who hears about the murders and thinks that there is more than a psychopath going around killing people. He thinks there are sinister paranormal forces at work here. This is where we find out about the actual events in the hotel's past.
The hotel owner Jack (Brian Gallager) has set his mind to creating the scariest experience for horror fans, in which he gets his hotel staff to dress up in scary costumes and scare his patrons of the hotel. He acquires some objects which are said to be haunted, and he uses them in his hotel to scare his guests even more. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the objects are actually haunted and actually possess the staff with some evil spirits, which cause their eyes to turn black and send them out to brutally murder the patrons.
The two other main characters we center on are June (Nicole Cinaglia), who has psychic powers, but doesn't like using them, nor does she know how to really control them, and Erik Sanborn (Kyle Patrick Brennan), one of those reality show ghost hunters, who is there to investigate the haunted hotel. June has the most screen time, however her character and storyline don't go anywhere, as do the other characters in the film. And Raffa must have really enjoyed the film 'Inception', because he incorporates flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks, causing my brain to have a meltdown and making this film fairly difficult to follow. However, the final climax of the film picks up speed, and this is where all of the murders take place with enough blood and guts for the whole family, even grandma.
That being said, it is executed fairly poorly, with weak visual effects, bad acting, and terrible storytelling. The hotel staff's blacked out eyes were done with CG, which if done well, might have looked good, but it wasn't and is laughable. I did find out that there is a haunted house out there like this and this is where the idea for the film came from. And I'm wiling to bet that the actual haunted house experience is far superior to this film. I doubt anyone would find '6 Degrees of Hell' scary or remotely interesting.
'6 Degrees of Hell' has a 1080p HD transfer presented in 1:78.1 aspect ratio. Colors look just good enough, with the detail looking sharp, as this was shot digitally. The brightness level seemed a bit high, giving the image a slightly unrealistic look. There was some evidence of video noise as well here and there, giving this direct-to-video release a below average video presentation.
This disc comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix as well as a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. The DTS-HD 5.1 audio sounds decent enough, with clear dialogue centered on the front speakers nicely. The rears don't get used much surprisingly for a horror film, but when the ambient noises do pop up as well as the music crescendo scares, they play out well, however they could have been used more often. I didn't notice any cracks or hissing.
This is a poor attempt at a horror film. It's hard to follow, with bad acting, terrible effects, and a story that goes nowhere. The video and audio are decent enough for a direct-to-video release, but nothing to write home about. And the extras, while there are many, aren't good. I'd stay away from this film, unless you have some fascination with owning every Corey Feldman movie. That would be scary.