A young woman of Turkish origin living in Vienna feels increasingly lonely after she witnesses a murder and finds herself next on the killer’s agenda in this smart and gritty thriller from the director of ANATOMY and the Oscar-winning THE COUNTERFEITERS.
Özge (Violetta Schurawlow) is a second-generation Turkish woman living in Vienna where she drives taxis so she can take classes at night and practice Thai kickboxing. Her life was full of challenges even before she witnessed the tail end of a slow, painful murder in an apartment across the alley from hers. After seeing the death of her neighbor and, more importantly, her neighbor’s killer seeing her, Özge has a whole new struggle for survival as the killer makes it known he is coming after her.
As Özge desperately searches for help, she quickly learns that she is more on her own than ever. Unable to turn to her own family, the incident puts Özge in the sights of detective Christian Steiner (Tobias Moretti) who cares for his aging father and is not subtle about his distrust of immigrants. Özge and Steiner find their lives thrust together in surprising ways while a madman is on the loose.
Ever-versatile Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky is no stranger to genre cinema (ANATOMY) and he also has an Oscar (THE COUNTERFEITERS). In COLD HELL, Ruzowitzky takes a fairly straightforward story of a person thrust unwittingly into a nightmare and makes it something special by filling the film's world with rich characters and narrative layers. Awash in both the colors and shadows of Italian giallo films and the grit and violence of 80's American B-movies, COLD HELL is never anything less than thrilling. Marrying his eye for rich visuals, hard-hitting violence and suspense filled set-pieces with a subtext-laden character-driven narrative, Ruzowitzky has crafted a lean, smart thriller made seemingly specifically for Fantastic Fest’s audiences. (Brian Kelley)