New movie 'Hellbound' in Tempe asks: Is hell real?

TEMPE, AZ - A controversial new film made its debut Sunday night in the Valley.

It's called Hellbound but it's not your typical pre-Halloween thriller.

"Hell is something I've struggled with ever since I became a Christian when I was 9 years old," said filmmaker Kevin Miller.

Miller wrote, produced, and directed the new movie "Hellbound," a documentary that seeks to answer the question of whether hell exists and, if it does, who ends up there and why.

Miller spent the past few years interviewing a variety of people on the topic from hardcore Christians to death metal musicians.

"The broader population, they either wonder about it or worry about it because we're all going to die so everyone has curiosity about it," said Miller.

That curiosity, Miller said, can sometimes lead to confusion when talking about hell.

Many people, he claimed, have difficulty reconciling the concept of a God who forgives with a God who will ultimately not forgive and who will torment forever.

What also emerges in the film are alternatives to the eternal torment view of hell.

The movie Hellbound explores the concept of annihilationism, meaning that God doesn't torment, but rather extinguishes someone.

On the flip side, it also examines universalism, the idea that all people might be reconciled to God.

"I think there are a lot of Christians out there who are caught in a religion of fear and for them being a Christian is a hell avoidance plan," said Miller. "I want to show them there's a lot more than that."

But don't expect the film to reach any conclusions or give you some easy answers.

Ultimately, Miller said, when it comes to the question of whether hell is real, nobody knows for sure.

"I think the person to be most cautious of is the one who comes along and says 'I know exactly how this all works' because the fact is we don't," said Miller.

Hellbound is playing at the Valley Art Theater in Tempe through Thursday.

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