I was thoroughly disappointed in this flick!
The trailer I saw last year had promise. The clincher being it was a creepy tale set on Halloween with evil trick or treaters menacing some chick. But something went horribly wrong at about the mid-point and it goes into an area that was weird, as in UN-interesting weird, and so uninteresting weird where I was expecting one of two things to happen: this was some kind of Jacob’s Ladder (1990) scenario or Freddy Kruger was going to pop up at the end and reveal I’ve just watched a lost episode of Freddy’s Nightmares. Either one would have killed it for me, well, not so much with the latter since I like Kruger, and probably would have loved it if that actually did happen with Robert Englund reprising the role, but none of that happened whatsoever, and the movie did nothing for me.
This is the third movie I’ve reviewed that starts out with a scene that hints at the rest of the movie being a flashback. Freaks Of Nature (2015) and Mosquito-Man (2016) started ever so blatantly like that, and this is the second movie I’ve reviewed where a blood moon figures into the plot. I reviewed a werewolf western last year titled just that, Blood Moon, where that lunar phenomenon was a plot point. Here it’s a possible plot point that suggests it may have something to do with the fucked up events happening to this chick on Halloween heard from a radio in the background .
The movie starts off with Dora Vogel (Chloe Rose) coming out of a hospital room in a hospital gown and an IV in her arm calmly walking towards the camera where she ends up puting her hand on this window. What is she looking at? We don’t find out until the movie catches up with itself, which are moments before the credits roll. Until that happens Dora is a seventeen-year-old living somewhere (possibly) in the Midwest (scenery reminded me of the Midwest anyway) getting ready to celebrate Halloween with her boyfriend, Jace (Luke Bilyk), but hours before they’re set to go to a party a doctor’s visit reveals she’s pregnant. The scenes afterward give you the feeling she’s not quite set on having a kid yet.
Now the weirdness starts. After her mother and her little brother leave to go to some party, three odd trick or treaters show up. Well, first one of them does, and she gives him candy, but it’s clear this “kid” ain’t normal. Later on three show up and one of them touches Dora’s stomach giving her terrible cramps. Another encounter with them shows us, and Dora, that her boyfriend’s severed head is lying at the bottom of the sack the kid is holding open in front of her.
She rightly freaks out and calls the cops. Now things get really weird. The three “kids” start menacing her from outside the house, even the very fabric of reality outside takes on odd turn, giving the landscape a very weird “dream-like” quality. Is she in another dimension? I had no idea. She might have been.
The doctor (Rossif Sutherland) she called earlier when she was having cramps shows up but the kids wounded him. She gets him in and into the cellar since the kids have now managed to infiltrate the house, and from the noises they make it’s getting more and more clear they really aren’t human at all. Though we never see them without their Halloween masks. One of them, however, dissolves when salt is thrown at her, so there’s that. Are they demons? I had no idea. They may have been.
They want Dora’s unborn kid, and that unborn kid is seen at intervals inside her growing larger, and looking fairly monstrous. During the course of the movie she reaches almost nine months pregnant. Why is this kid growing? I had no idea.
I was actually digging the movie until Dora escapes the house and then everything falls into this trippy Elm Street/Twilight Zone area and it even ends with that vibe leaving nothing fully resolved or explained. I like ambiguity in genre flicks, but not to the point where there isn’t even a hint of a theory of what’s happening.
It is explained, though, through this Indrid Cold-like voice from The Mothman Prophecies (2002) that visits Dora as she’s hiding out in this shed as to what the kids want, and, yes, it’s her unborn kid and it even tell her how they plan to rip it out of her. What or where was that disembodied voice coming from? I had no idea.
Robert Patrick has a small part as a local cop that shows up to help Dora, sort of, and explain that these kids came for his wife’s baby years before, but apparently she didn’t survive the encounter. That’s all he offers up.
Other “weird” things include the discovery of the Doctor’s body after the kids finally got him as Dora and he were in the process of escaping the house. We can hear him hollering for her from somewhere inside after Officer Corman (Patrick) arrives and they find him in the living room, seated in a chair with a pumpkin mask on his head, explaining the kids broke his arms and legs and he can’t move. Well, Doc, they apparently did a lot more than that as we find out when Corman prods his head and it rolls off his body. How the hell was he speaking? I had no idea.
Finally Dora gives in and cuts the baby out of her, but passes out afterwards. She wakes in a hospital and into a dream sequence that has her mother stabbing her as her little brother watches. A scene that added nothing to the movie but shock value, and the vibe ‘I-bet-this-is-a-dream.’ I’m assuming everything that happened to her happened. She does pull up her shirt to reveal a bandage around her stomach. And that window she had her hand pressed against was where they keep the newborns in the hospital. Was one of those babies hers? No idea, since her kid was all fucked up genetically. Then the Indrid Cold voice returns and it ends . . .
Back on February 2nd Shout! Factory released Hellions through their genre sub-label, Scream Factory, on separate DVD and Blu-ray editions!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio—English, Spanish subs only
Extras included . . .
There’s a lot more trippy weirdness I haven’t gone into, just know that, but what the fuck did I watch? I had no idea. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.