15 July 2015 | Prismark10
Struggles of boyhood
Hellion also known as Retribution is a slight tale from writer and director Kat Candler which has slow, unrushed placing.
The film chronicles a family on the edge of destruction in rural Southeast Texas. Jacob Wilson (Josh Wiggins) likes heavy metal and loves motocross biking. He and his mates also get into vandalism and arson. Unfortunately for them, for every wrong move they make the police are immediately on to them.
His father Hollis (Aaron Paul) is also broken. He his grieving over the loss of his wife, drinks too much and not spending enough time to look after his two children, their house is squalid. Hollis was a one time local baseball star. His actions also brings him to the attention of the police. The behaviour of both puts the younger son Wes at risk and into the hands of the child protection services who have him fostered out to his aunt Pam (Juliette Lewis.)
Things take a turn for the worse when Jacob and his gang go to the aunt's house to visit Wes.
The film has naturalistic performances from the child actors which is the big plus for the film. Everything is low key, fatalistic even. The only thing sunny here is the weather. The pacing is uneven as the film is a slow burner. There is too much contrivances, the police seem to be always there when there is trouble which is hard to swallow.
There is irony to see Lewis being terrorised at the end of the movie from a gang of kids, after all she did her share of terrorising twenty years ago in films like Natural Born Killers.