EIFF 2015: Hellions

Film Review by George Sully | 19 Jun 2015
Film title: Hellions
Director: Bruce McDonald
Starring: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson

Hellions is like chewing gum: it begins promisingly enough, with a genuine sense of foreboding and serviceable performances from the lead (Chloe Rose as teen Dora) and her family. It is halloween, and punky Dora learns of her unexpected pregnancy; cue eerie trick-or-treaters. Not the most novel of horror premises.

But beyond the first act – where this review’s sole star is earned – any and all worthwhile tension is squandered in a confused mess of lazily accessed iconography (spooky kids, blood-drenched hallucinations, disorienting sepia-stained day-for-night shots) and far, far too many climaxes. Even Robert Patrick as a two-dimensional local cop (ironically more robotic than his menacing T-1000 in T2) can’t save it.

To director Bruce McDonald’s credit, certain scenes reach ambitiously for iconic status (angel-costumed Dora with a shotgun, sack-masked kids saying “Mama”, and er, exploding pumpkins). But they are strung together too repeatedly, and too transparently for their own sake, so that their potential is entirely undermined; chewed and rechewed so self-indulgently that all flavour is lost.  

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Hellions has its UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival:

19 June, 11pm, Filmhouse; 28 June, 8.30pm, Filmhouse