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HELLmington - Movie Review

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Hellmington - Movie Review

Because secrets – especially those involving cold, cold corpses – don’t stay buried forever.  This is where an independent feature like Hellmington, willing to get is hands dirty, gets its strength. 

What happened to Katie Owens, a high school student from Essex County, is a tragedy.  The robbing of a girl’s innocence is horrific, but this death and disappearance is layered in deceit and devilish intentions, which is why – nine or so years later – one single death in the community causes an unspooling effect as Detective Samantha Woodhouse (played by Nicola Correia-Damude) begins to pull on certain loose strings.

"Regardless of its flaws in character development, Hellmington REMAINS a damn cool puzzle to be pieced together"

“You were always so cruel to her,” the old woman says.  Those words and that sentence haunts Woodhouse.  It's part of why she hasn’t returned to her home town since her high school graduation.  But the death of her father has brought her back and she’s ready to open scabs in the community.  With the death of her own daughter and the failure of her marriage, she has nothing to lose in seeking out the truth to the disappearance of Katie Owens (Angelica Stirpe) and attempt to uncover the truth, no matter who gets in her way.

Called home by her Uncle Rupert (genre icon Michael Ironside, star of Total Recall, Top Gun, and Turbo Kid), Sam dives into the series of tragic events that follow in the wake of her Dad's death.  And they all lead back to Katie’s disappearance.  What she shines light onto is a whole hell of a lot of demented happenings in her quiet hometown; almost every death is connected and it is all, mysteriously enough, related to some bizarre cult.

But is it possible that Sam’s grasp on reality is slipping?

There are certainly a lot of things working in Hellmington’s favor.  With a solid cast and a VERY cool electronic score from CULTS, this mystery practically explodes with purpose and that’s in its initial few minutes.  You are quickly sucked into the drama unfolding.  That opening credit sequence is pure gold and it captures the spirit of the film nicely.  Tangled in this murder mystery/horror film is a striking, cinematic "look" that will haunt you for days thanks to the impressive cinematography of Michael Caterina.  Equally strong are the production values of this horror film. Hellmington - Movie Review

Written and directed by Justin Hewitt-Drakulic and Alex Lee Williams, Hellmington is every bit the mystery movie that is appears and wants to be, drawing quick comparisons to the likes of Twin Peaks thanks to its setting and some of its characters, but it doesn’t strike the emotional levels that it needs to.  That ending should shake us all to the core; it is horrific but, thanks to the somewhat dazed performance (by design) of Woodhouse, we don’t get the full emotional impact of her character arc. 

That doesn’t mean the movie is a miss.  It just means that the horror that erupts in the wake of Sam’s return to her hometown doesn’t hit us as hard as it should.  And that’s what separates from the work of Lynch.  There’s mystery, yes, and there’s drama, certainly, but we aren’t that terrified to discover the fate of Detective Sam Woodhouse . . . and we should be.  Perhaps a bit more quirk and a few more scenes humanizing her would help this flesh out her character a bit more.

Regardless of its flaws in character development, Hellmington REMAINS a damn cool puzzle to be pieced together. From Uncork’d Entertainment, the movie premieres on DVD and Digital formats September 10.

4/5 beers

Hellmington - Movie Review


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Hellmington - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
83 mins
: Justin Hewitt-Drakulic, Alex Lee Williams
Alex Lee Williams, Justin Hewitt-Drakulic
Cast: Nicola Correia-Damude, Michael Ironside, Yannick Bisson
: Horror
Memorable Movie Quote:
High Octane Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 18, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: On June 6, 1985 Hellmington Asylum closed their doors for good. On June 6, 2009 it was re-opened as the very first Psychological Extreme Haunted House, where people could live out their own personal horror fantasies.

Willing participants would be pushed to their limits, blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s in your head. Katie Owens, a true horror fanatic and online blogger was invited as one of the first people to partake in the Hellmington experience.

Hellmington - Movie Review

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