Belief is indeed a mesmerizing concept; although having faith in something might lead one to attain great opportunities, sometimes it may lead an individual to commit the greatest sins. “Hellhole” is a 2022 Polish horror drama film that will take you through the lives of individuals who caused a great deal of destruction through their beliefs. The movie begins with the introduction of Father Marek, who has arrived at a secret institution, also known as the sanatorium, that deals with people who are possessed by the Devil. Their expertise in exorcisms has attracted Marek to their monastery. Upon his arrival, Marek’s belongings are checked by Brother Dawid, as the privacy and secrecy of their organization are their main concern. Marek is greeted by Father Prior Andrzej, the head of the sanatorium, who heads the exorcism process. Marek is freaked out by the sudden change of environment, but he manages to adjust himself to it. Well, Marek steps inside his dorm and inspects the whole room. Once he is done, Marek opens his bag only to reveal a secret compartment inside the bag filled with guns and other items for his safety. In reality, Marek is a militia officer pretending to be a priest to secure more details on the disappearance of eight women from the nearby villages. So, Marek was certainly in the monastery with a different aim, but he had to keep a low profile since Brother Dawid always followed him around.
Marek began inspecting the sanatorium and preparing for his first exorcism. He was terrified by the exorcism since he had to witness a young girl in tremendous pain. Well, Father Piotr caught him red-handed while he explored the sanatorium and informed him about the sanatorium’s evil deeds. To his surprise, the exorcisms were all fake. After the exorcism, Marek headed to his room and found a crack in his bathroom mirror; this led him to a secret room filled with exorcism tapes and items that were used to fake it. The whole room was staged in a way to present a demonic presence inside. Well, to get more closure, Marek immediately asked Father Piotr about the missing women, and Piotr informed him that none of them were possessed. It was just a way to earn revenue from the Vatican. All these women were drugged to make them look like they were possessed.
Father Piotr warned Marek about his actions since it was obvious that he was looking for something. The priests had their eyes on him, and if they caught him in the act, he would be punished with death. Marek was heavily disgusted with the food they offered as they were consuming meat that had a strange taste to it. The next day, Marek inspected his room to find clues and ended up finding a strange hole behind his cupboard. He put his hand inside the hole and found a totem inside. The cursed totem caused Marek to puke black tar-like liquid, and this freaked him out. Marek immediately rushed to the cracked mirror and went inside the room to inspect more about the missing woman. Here he found the bodies of all the women and, along with that, a horrible truth; the meat he was consuming was from these dead bodies. Their bodies were hanging from the ceiling while their organs were being cooked in a large pot.
Father Piotr took him to the library and revealed the ulterior motives of the priests. He presented him with an ancient book that contained the stories of “The Chosen One.” At the beginning of the movie, viewers are taken back to the year 1957, when a priest tried to kill a baby with a strange symbol on his chest. The priest was killed by the militia officers, and the baby was saved. But now, the same symbol is found on Marek’s chest and in the book, indicating that Marek is the same baby and the chosen one. According to the book, the chosen one has to be killed before he is possessed by the Devil. Or else he would devour the flesh of seven women and consume the blood of an innocent. This would turn him into a monster that would reform and bring changes to the world. Father Piotr commanded him to escape the palace since the cases of the missing women were framed to lure Marek into the sanatorium.
Father Piotr guided him to a hidden passage that would lead him outside the monastery, but it turned out to be a trap. He took Marek to the other priests, and they commenced the ritual with him. They fed him the flesh of seven women and fed him the blood of the same girl who was exorcised on the first day. But to their surprise, nothing happened, so disappointed by this result, the priests decided to kill him and discarded his body in the well. The well was a portal connecting the human and the demon worlds. The priests returned to their respective rooms, but Father Prior, being devastated by the result, spent the whole night drinking heavily; Piotr took advantage of it and strangled him with a pillow to take his place.
The next morning, Piotr gained huge respect from all the other priests and was assigned in Father Prior’s place. Together, they decided to burn all the dead bodies and any evidence that might put them in trouble. But Marek woke up mysteriously and transformed into a hideous beast, which is proof that the ritual worked. Now a transformed Marek stepped into the daylight and killed Father Piotr by claiming its place in the universe. The ritual finally turned Marek into a demon; he turned all the other priests into an upside-down cross while opening a portal to hell. It was clear that the end was near; the Devil was finally here to claim his place in the universe, and now there was no one to stop him. The priests had lured him into the monastery by bribing the higher officials to provide him with the missing cases since he wouldn’t do it of his own free will.