It’s Halloween, so time for a Halloween movie. New for 2015 is the horror thriller film “Hellions” from director Bruce McDonald (“The Husband”, “Pontypool”).
As the film begins seventeen year old Dora Vogel (Chloe Rose – “The Lesser Blessed”, “People Hold On”) is walking slowly down a hospital corridor towards the camera, eventually stopping and appearing to look out of a window.
The scene then changes and we go to a different place in time where we see Dora at the edge of a huge pumpkin field, lying and cuddling her boyfriend Jace (Luke Bilyk – “Degrassi : The Next Generation”, “Lost Girl”). Dora has to leave as she has been called to her doctor’s surgery for an appointment, and the pair arrange to meet later for a Halloween party.
At the doctor’s Dora is stunned to hear Dr. Henry (Rossif Sutherland – “Timeline”, “I’m Reed Fish”) tell her that she is four weeks pregnant. Shocked, Dora returns home to get ready for the party and to prepare to tell Jace the news.
Dora’s mum Kate (Rachel Wilson – “Total Drama”, “Winter Break”) is taking her younger brother Remi (Peter DaCunha – “A Dark Truth”, “Haunter”) out trick-or-treating, leaving Dora alone with her thoughts until Jace arrives to collect her.
When a child trick-or-treater wearing a hessian mask knocks at the door Dora is initially unsettled, then irritated by the silence coming from the visitor, handing over some sweets and closing the door on the child.
Before long, however, the number of masked children begins to multiply and things start to go seriously screwy! Not even the appearance of local sheriff Corman (Robert Patrick – “Terminator 2 : Judgment Day”, “The Men Who Stare At Goats”) can restore order…
At the end of the film I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d just witnessed. The story itself is not explicitly clear, and there are numerous dream-like (or rather, nightmare-like) sequences, an indoor storm and the arrival of the masked children warps the colours of the outside world to a pinkish hue. There’s also sprinklings of blood and gore, but that’s kept to a relative minimum with hallucinations and avant-garde elements taking up the slack.
Chloe Rose commands most of the screen time and does an admirable job, leaving the viewer invested in what will happen to her, regardless of how confusing events may get! How much of what we see is supposed to be real? How much of it is in Dora’s mind? Perhaps that is for us to decide.
Visually the movie is great, and the children are genuinely odd and unsettling, and no matter what else feels vague in the film it is still an effective and creepy movie perfect for this time of year…