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Hellions - Movie Review

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Hellions - Movie Review

2 stars

Stitching with a thick thread of isolation, director Bruce McDonald explores a day full of horror as one teen is left alone on Halloween night after receiving a whole lot of unexpected news. Something is growing inside her. Hellions, a Canadian produced feature opening in select cities this weekend, might not be the most ambitious of horror fables ever told but it is effective in developing fear and paranoia through its use of striking visuals. Unfortunately, it relies on far too many gimmicks to make a lasting impression.

Written by Pascal Trottier, Hellions is all about Dora (a very convincing Chloe Rose) and her most horrible day of discovery. After lounging about with her boyfriend in a field full of pumpkins, she goes to her doctor and is told that she is 4 weeks pregnant. It is news that she didn’t want to hear. With a boyfriend low on the parental approval list, Dora hides herself from her mother and her younger brother and lets them go trick-or-treat while she stays home to hand out the candy. Except the trick-or-treaters have other plans.

Dressed in some pretty creepy outfits, her night is haunted by the faceless evil that is the name of the movie. Hellions. And, with their eyes not on her candy but on her baby, they make it very clear, very early in the picture what it is they are after. Featuring Robert Patrick as the small town cop who helps her get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding these children-like monsters, Hellions sort of loses focus as it relies on hallucinations and other mumbo jumbo to help fill out its running time.

Which is a shame because McDonald scores big with his haunted house set-up, rural locations, and directorial choices. Some of the shots in Hellion are priceless; some from high angles which invite introspection and others offering fear to waltz right in. There’s a lot in Hellion to appreciate before the mucked up middle leaves us scratching our heads as a wild wind stirs through Dora’s house, destroying the tension established by these tiny-sized terrors. Confusion follows. Hallucinations set in and we, at least for a while, are a bit lost.

Control is regained, though, and the dread in Dora’s hopeless situation springs back as McDonald recovers direction and starts to ratchet up the tension in the final arc. If only that control had been there when Trottier leans hard on standard horror clichés like “Stay here” and on and on. Eyes roll. Okay, whatever. Bye-bye. Yet, there’s a passion to a lot of Hellions that simply cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand. McDonald is talented and that talent is expressed quite well with this Halloween-themed feature.

Hellions is a nice distraction. I think it’s uneven BUT there’s a solid atmosphere that invites a happening of horror. It’s gory enough to delight some horror hounds but there could have been a stronger middle to carry it to its alarming ending. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what happened between all the hallucinations.

With more padding than it ought to have, Hellions – while watchable – is more of a trick than a treat.

Hellions - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime:
80 mins
Director
: Bruce McDonald
Writer:
Pascal Trottier, Pascal Trottier
Cast:
Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
This Halloween, Hell Comes Knocking
Memorable Movie Quote: "They've come before."
Distributor:
IFC Midnight
Official Site: http://hellionsmovie.com/
Release Date:
September 18, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: A teenager's Halloween night turns into a terrifying fight to survive when trick-or-treaters from Hell show up at her doorstep. After getting the unwelcome news that she's pregnant, seventeen-year-old Dora (Chloe Rose) just wants to stay in on Halloween. But then a knock at the door delivers a gaggle of pint-sized demons after one thing: Dora's baby. Director Bruce McDonald unleashes a hallucinatory visual and auditory assault that propels Hellions to increasingly disturbing realms of terror.

No details available.

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