6 November 2018 | Coventry
How about a purple and pink Halloween?
Yours truly is a diehard horror fanatic, but also a sucker for mushy traditions. During the Christmas period I seek out holiday-horror with psychotic Santa's or demonic elves, and on All Hallows' Eve I like to stay in theme as well. And, since you can't watch John Carpenter's "Halloween" every year, it's good to have some alternatives. "Hellions" isn't nearly as good or entertaining as, say, "Trick 'r Treat" or "Tales of Halloween", but I'm nevertheless glad that I watched a genuine Halloween flick with spooky seasonal decoration, gruesome costumes and lots & lots of pumpkins! Perhaps I'm being too generous here, as I was in a festive mood, but I think "Hellions" is a solid film for a mere two-thirds of the running time. Bruce McDonald, director of the - in my humble opinion - heavily overrated "Pontypool", creates an ideally sinister atmosphere and comes up with an efficiently unsettling premise. The rebellious but troubled 16-year-old Dora Vogel finds out she's pregnant, so she's pondering alone at her house while the rest of her family goes out trick or treating. Eerie kids with seriously terrifying masks and outfits soon come knocking at her door, but these little monsters aren't satisfied with regular candy. They want Dora's unborn baby, and anyone who tries to protect her won't survive the night! The set-up of the plot is great, the little demon-kids look petrifying and Chloë Rose is a persuasive young actress. So far so good, but admittedly Bruce McDonald has no idea where his surreal storylines are going or how to lead everything towards a credible finale. The skies over Dora's isolated little town suddenly color purple and pink, along with various other surreal and inexplicably bizarre phenomena, which causes us to suspect that McDonald tries to cover for the lack of content and/or continuity with visual distractions. Nice try, but horror fans really aren't as dumb as some people think, you know! I'll remember it for the handful of authentic frights, but "Hellions" definitely won't become a cult classic.