With a keen interest in Thriller/ Horror, I was definitely psyched about watching Hellions. The trailers and overall vibe of the film leading up to Halloween, had me excited for a good scary movie.
In the beginning of any film, I’m always looking out for its styling, such as cinematography, lighting, effects, score, screenplay, filters – all of the magic that draws you into the back of your seat, as you strap in for the ride.
But, after 10 minutes, that harness has loosened up and cracks are starting to appear. Scenes have already become predictive and starting to show attempted elements of other great classics, such as; Tim Burton’s colour palettes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s filtering. As well as generalised chunks of Stephen King’s, Children of the Corn and glimpses of Donnie Darko.
The mimicking art form, wasn’t the only major turn off. The “plot” , if there was one, became non – sensical with an unclear direction, between psychotic, satanic, hallucinogenic and just plain ol’boring. The outline didn’t allow for any build up in character depth, which prevented for any form of sympathy or empathy towards the main characters. Time lapse filming became over used to the point of feeling giddy. Boredom has truly set in at this 40 min mark, where you’re wondering if you’ve slipped into a trance like state, due to the extreme binaural – delta 2000 beats pummelling over the top of any dialogue. I felt like I was truly on an acid trip, with Johnny Depp in Las Vegas. Except there wasn’t any fear… only loathing.
Somehow amongst all of this, the T1000 (Robert Patrick) manages to make a guest appearance, in order to keep the ball rolling just enough to cross the finish line. This only made matters worse as you could clearly tell that his heart and soul was not in his character.
The Halloween setting just made this even more of a cliche. Certain stills of children, missed the mark and only made for a more disturbing feel, than chilling. A little too Stanley Kubrick; if The Shining was what they were aiming for, then they were sorely mistaken. There was an unusual use of nursery rhymes, which came across as unnecessarily creepy, keeping in mind that the movie’s reputation over an hour in, is in critical condition.
It’s never fun, giving a bad review on a film, but I wouldn’t be staying true to myself, nor our readers. Hellions wasn’t for me folks, I’d be keen to read your thoughts and reviews on this one too.
— Scott Niehus
More written reviews by Scott Niehus: