With Halloween, evil children and haunted pregnancies being familiar themes amongst the crop of this years FrightFest features, director Bruce McDonald combines all three for Hellions: an intriguing but risible demonic kid flick that sacrifices substance for a glum abundance of VFX and a crippling lack of resolve.

After small-town American stoner Dora (Chloe Rose) finds out she is pregnant, three creepy looking bag-headed children start skulking about her patio in the guise of Trick Or Treaters. Dora soon discovers they want more than just candy and are after her unborn child. She is then forced to defend herself, with the help of a scowling local cop (Robert Patrick), as the rabid brats invade her home.


Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool delivered a curious twist on the zombie subgenre combining unique visuals with a ludicrous but fascinating central concept (the zombie virus is spread through speaking and certain words are infected). While his latest, Hellions, has a curious set up and abstract design, it’s story dawdles incoherently in the latter half, abandoning plot progression and character development for mystifying visuals that confound but fail to rouse.

The third act collapse is primarily the fault of a slapdash screenplay by Pascal Trottier but Hellions does have some interesting facets. The warbling vocals are nicely disorientating, echoing Pontypool’s zombie word-play contagion and Dora’s crumbling sanity. The kid’s masks and costumes are equally unnerving and their salt sensitivity is a novel touch. Performances from Patrick and Rose are pretty decent too but Hellions remains an agonising slog due to its volatile script structure and botched ending.

hellions 1

Despite an incredibly short run time of 81 minutes, Hellions feels more like two hours. It’s showdown somehow manages to make a demonic, gun-totting stand-off featuring Patrick’s cop and a heavily pregnant Dora, unbelievably dull and the last act gratingly teases the viewer by pretending to end a few times before it actually does.

Its conclusion is supposed to be ambiguous but is merely prolonged and perplexing. Hellions feels like a hackneyed hammering together of subgenre traits that could have amounted to something much more interesting but it treads a path from where a much better tale should have been told.

Previous articleTony Todd to Voice the Villainous Zoom in Season 2 of The Flash
Next articleDaredevil Season 2: Everything You Need to Know About Elektra
Daniel Goodwin
Daniel Goodwin is a prevalent film writer for multiple websites including HeyUGuys, Scream Horror Magazine, Little White Lies, i-D and Dazed. After studying Film, Media and Cultural Studies at university and Creative Writing at the London School of Journalism, Daniel went on to work in TV production for Hat Trick Productions, So Television and The London Studios. He has also worked at the Home Office, in the private office of Hilary Benn MP and the Coroner's and Burials Department, as well as on the Movies on Pay TV market investigation for the Competition Commission.
hellions-reviewWith Halloween, evil children and haunted pre...