Strange trick-or-treaters plague conflicted teenager Dora Vogel (Chloe Rose) at her isolated home on Halloween. Under siege by forces she can't understand, Dora must defend both body and soul from relentless Hellions, dead-set on possessing something Dora will not give them. Set in a visually haunting landscape and featuring "genuine moments of spookiness" (Filmbook) and a score that's "fun, terrifying and inventive" (soundonsight.org), Hellions redefines the boundaries of horror with its potent brew of Halloween iconography, teenage angst and desperate survival.
In the film, HELLIONS, Dora Vogel, is a rebellious teen, who has just found out that she is 4 weeks pregnant. However, she would soon discover that an unplanned pregnancy would be the least of her problems, come Halloween night. It would only be part of them. When her mother, and her little brother, Remi, leave her at home, to go out Trick or Treating for the night, she calls on her boyfriend, Jace, to pick her up, however, when he doesn't, she she is stuck in the house, as she must deal with Trick or Treaters, who come knocking at the door. But unfortunately on this night, she would be visited by Trick or Treaters unlike any other. In fact, they come in the form of mischievous, and murderous, demon-like children. Initially, Dora believes that they are just your average obnoxious kids, but when Dora discovers that they have killed Jace, she senses that something far more sinister is on their minds. And she would be correct. Because after awhile, it becomes clear that the only treat that these kids want, is the child growing inside of her.
The basic setup for HELLIONS is one of classic Horror, so yes we have seen it before. Someone becomes pregnant, and suddenly, they are the target of some kind of evil. This bit of info, however, wasn't revealed in the film's synopsis. which graces the back of the box. From what we are told, we know that the main character is terrorized by a group of hellion Trick or Treaters, So, honestly, I went in thinking, "Hmm, this sounds a lot like the film, TRICK 'R TREAT". As it turns out, it is much like TRICK 'R TREAT, in fact, it is very similar to 2 other films as well - THE STRANGERS, and a little bit of ROSEMARY'S BABY, as well. All of the aforementioned, enjoyable films in their own right. But when it comes to having ideas from all of these films combined into one single film, unfortunately, the results are just not as great.
The film gets off to a rather great start, but soon falls into a slump, as the film starts to feel a little bit too familiar for it's own good. Because we feel that we have seen this somewhere before. As the film progresses, HELLIONS becomes less and less interesting. It does have its moments here and there, but overall, the film feels like an unfortunate rehash. To be fair, had not the aforementioned films existed, the idea behind HELLIONS would likely appear much more interesting. But, because it is so similar to other films, one has difficulty, when it comes to taking it seriously. The film has very little originality of its own, but I will say that I did like the explanation as to why the devilish Trick or Treaters have shown up at Dora's door. The Police Officer, "Mike", portrayed by veteran actor, Robert Patrick, knows all about them, as they once killed hid wife, "Sheri". It was on the night of a Blood Moon, on Halloween night, and she was pregnant. This was a nice sequence as it goes into flashback to explain the previous events. It's from there that we know exactly what these little devils want - they want Dora's child as a sacrifice of some sort. As the film progresses, it would seem that, somehow they are speeding up Dora's pregnancy, as she goes from 4 weeks, the 4 months pregnant in a flash, as the kids ready for the sacrifice. From there, it's about Dora keeping safe and sound, as the film drift into a number of artsy scenes, featuring well stylized hallucinations, and the like. It is the one of the few things that HELLIONS truly has going for it, the film, including it's visual effect and scoring, The film looks great, but it goes nowhere. Unfortunately, while its focus is on looking good, the film never develops any real suspense, leaving us to just "go through the motions", so to speak until it ends. This is because there is basically nothing to keep our interest grounded. It wants us to care about Dora(portrayed by Chloe Rose), yet doesn't go out of its way to build her up as a character, and likewise, it doesn't build the antagonist in a way that makes them "scary". They aren't frightening, so why should the viewer find them as being such?
So, to sum up HELLIONS, it is a film, which has the intention of being a fun little festive treat. The only problem is, that we have had a number of these types of films released in the last few years. Because of this, HELLIONS is one, which comes across as unoriginal and uninspired, only offering little of its own ideas(still not sure that I quite believe the whole, killing them with salt rountine. (Yes, in the film, Dora discovers that they die after they are hit with salt).
7/10 My favorite thing about HELLIONS, is indeed it's score. The film has a great score, at uses the chants of children to create for itself, an eerie vibe that seems to take note from other classic film scores.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
HELLIONS is a a film that I really wanted to enjoy more than I did. Going into it though, I feared that it would be one that was just too similar in plot to other films, and, I was correct about that. Had it been new, it may have been another story, unfortunately, most of this film's setup is "old news". HELLIONS has very little originality to call it's own, which ends up being its biggest hindrance.