Del reviews ‘Hellions’
“Hellions” Starring Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland. Directed by Bruce McDonald. 80 minutes. Unrated.
My ever-present quest for those hidden gems of cinema, the obscure horror movie, recently carried me to “Hellions,” a new offering on Netflix. “Hellions” is hidden for a reason, although sadly I had to sit through it to find out why.
The movie begins promisingly enough. Seventeen-year-old Dora is planning a Halloween night liaison with boyfriend Jace at a Halloween party, but first she must drop by that pesky health clinic to see why she’s been summoned. Probably just want her to pick up a prescription or something.
Too bad it wasn’t BCPs because the doctor has news for Dora – she’s knocked up. That’ll sure take the fun out of a night of canoodling with your dope-smoking teen boy.
Dora decides to kick back at the house while her mom and little brother head out for a children’s Halloween party. But later, Jace calls and Dora changes her mind, partly because she wants Daddy Dearest to hear the news ASAP. As she waits for Jace to pick her up, the doorbell rings and a devilishly dressed moppet holds out a trick-or-treat bag.
That’s where the trouble begins, in terms of plot and the movie itself.
What follows is a near incomprehensible descent into … something. I’m not sure what to call it. A fever dream? Madness? An alternate universe?
Suffice it to say Dora and her unborn child, which is rapidly maturing within her belly into some kind of monster, become the targets of a cadre of demon children who want the baby whatever-it-is for something. I never quite figured that out.
I also never figured out the movie’s odd color palette – a kind of faux infrared – and it’s weird soundtrack. Oh, and I almost forgot the exploding pumpkins. Musn’t forget the exploding pumpkins.
“Hellions” is skillfully assembled in technical terms, and it shows flashes of originality and brilliance. But McDonald loses me, and what I predict will be most viewers, about 15 minutes into the movie when events become inexplicably strange, and not really very interesting.
I don’t want to discourage McDonald because I think if he reins in these excursions into visual excess, he should make some decent movies. But “Hellions” isn’t one of them.
I would give it a D+, and the plus is for the inventive costumes.
Del Stone Jr. is a former journalist and author.