Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Damned Trick-or-treaters: "Hellions" a fiendishly fun trip to pregnancy hell

Hellions (2015) 
81 min., not rated (equivalent of an R).

Halloween-masked child demons demand more than King-sized candy bars in "Hellions," a phantasmagoric horror treat that could also be seen as a metaphor for unplanned teenage pregnancy. Directed by Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald (2008's inventively creepy "Pontypool") and written by Pascal Trottier (2013's "The Colony"), the film is an impish treat tailor-made for lovers of All Hallows' Eve like a razor blade wrapped in a piece of candy — a comparison only true-blue genre fans will understand. In lieu of being a conventional, purely literal run-and-hide thriller about evil monsters, McDonald and Trottier bring a more surreal, dreamlike approach to their uniquely stylish little nightmare. It's much more about an abstract, "what's-real-and-what's-not?" mood than a strong narrative structure, and for some, that will be much of the fiendish fun all along. 

The last thing goth-dressed 17-year-old Dora Vogel (Chloe Rose) probably wanted to hear on Halloween night was the news that she is four weeks pregnant. After a checkup appointment at Dr. Henry's (Rossif Sutherland) office, her whole world seems to come crashing down internally. She hasn't told boyfriend Jace (Luke Bilyk) or even her mother (Rachel Wilson), who leaves Dora home alone to take her younger son (Peter DaCunha) out trick-or-treating. As she nervously waits for Jace to pick her up to go to a party, not-too-ready to tell him about a fetus growing inside of her, Dora deals with the occasional egging of her house windows to the annoying trick-or-treaters. All hell breaks loose when the same insidiously masked trick-or-treaters come ringing her bell, evidently not out to trick and making it clear that they want Dora's unborn child for sacrifice. With only the local cop (Robert Patrick) being any help, can the soon-to-be young mother make it through the night in one piece? To read the rest of the review, go to Diabolique Magazine.

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