Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Women in Horror: Hellevator
I'm not a big fan of game shows in general, so I tuned in to see Hellevator just to see Jen and Sylvia Soska as hosts. I was pleasantly surprised how creative and entertaining the show is. Each episode features a different tale of terror with a central figure who committed horrific deeds of murder and torture including a deranged nurse, a murderous undertaker, and ghostly triplets. I love how the stories seem real because of the antique photos, newspapers clippings, and aged video footage shown. My personal favorite was The Butcher, the Baker, and the Candlestick Maker. It sounded really cheesy going in, but the three brothers are a murdering team that dispose of their victims in delightfully disgusting ways.
Three hapless contestant go through the entry room full of odd things and blood splatter to set the mood. They eventually enter the Hellevator after usually cringing over everything and have to endure 3 stages of challenges they each have to face alone. Their only comfort is the walkie talkies provided to communicate with their teammates while they watch on a monitor in the Hellevator. I love this aspect because it's all the more jarring to have to face the unknown all by yourself. Each challenge is unique to the theme and the overarching story. Sometimes they have to endure electric shocks or rats on their heads or dig through corpses. Some challenges depend on the teammates help and some don't. In this season, no challenge has ever been repeated, which makes things even more interesting. Even if contestants have seen the show, they still won't know what lies in store for them. If the contestants pass their particular challenge, they get to endure the Labyrinth where bundles of money and one central item worth thousands of dollars are just laying around for them to pick up as they are scared, sprayed, and lunged at by the creatures of all types. If the contestants fail their challenge, they are claimed by the Hellevator, never to return.
What really gives Hellevator its flavor is its hosts, Jen and Sylvia Soska. The contestants running around screaming and the stories are interesting, but their attitude and the way the Soska sisters deliver the macabre stories are always entertaining. They are dressed in their gothic best and adopt a sardonic and sinister yet playful attitude with their guests. It personally offends them when their guests succeed in a challenge and steal money from them. They delight in their fear and failures. Many times, they say exactly what I'm thinking and have genuine reactions to what the contestants are doing. The show could have easily been ruined by robotic or lackluster hosts, but the Soska Sisters bring just enough deranged delight and sinister anger to make the show cohesive and fun to watch. I've always enjoyed their films, so I urge you to check them out if you haven't seen them. I look forward to another season of making contestants squirm and unique tales of horror.
My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins