Hell is Empty is a 2021 drama thriller film in which a self-styled messiah initiates a teenage runaway into his cult of sister-wives.
Directed by Jo Shaffer [as Joe Shaffer] from a screenplay co-written with producer Adam Desantes.
The Divine Image producion stars Meredith Antoian (Going in Style; The Best Photograph), Aya, Nia Farrell, Travis Mitchell (Vortex: A Film Anthology), Spencer Peppet and Laura Resinger.
A self-styled messiah initiates a lost soul into his cult of sister-wives on an Edenic island, upsetting the delicate balance of a utopian community fixated on sin and salvation. Two teenage runaways become increasingly suspicious of the cult leader’s absolutist vision.
When Lydia arrives on the island, Saratoga is eight months pregnant with his child – the supposed son of God. As the makeshift family descends into paranoia and violence, Lydia and Saratoga plot a daring escape that transforms them from outcasts to avengers…
“Altogether, it will keep the attention of anyone who is watching. The plot and characters are underexplored, but the grounded approach is appreciated since many cult movies have a tendency to be outrageous. Hell is Empty is also a well-shot movie that mirrors its tone. The cast does a great job of getting over the danger and fear of the cult.” AIPT
“Striking the fear of God into anyone who dares to question his iron-fist rule over the family, Travis Mitchell gives an excellent fire and brimstone performance as Ed. Drawing sharp thumbnail sketches for each teenage runaway, the screenplay by Shaffer and Desantes neatly combines isolated community/ cult chills with Ed’s patriarch grip on power, which the teenage runaway girls fight to reveal is empty like Hell.” Morrison Dylan
In the USA, Hell is Empty will be released by 1091 Pictures on March 1st 2022.
Cast and characters:
Meredith Antoian … Millie
Aya … Murphy
Nia Farrell … Saratoga
Travis Mitchell … Ed
Spencer Peppet … Lydia
Laura Resinger … Vivian
Not to be confused with the 1967 British crime film of the same name.