Wakey wakey for Day 2 and the last one for me of Grimmfest. Heading down to the cinema I settled into my seat for the horror that was to come.
The Sun Has Died
Well this Danish short really was the favourite of the day for me. Lasting for about 20 minutes it blew me away. Done in first person (not found footage!) but as the eyes of the protagonist, a woman is starting her first day cleaning at a kindergarten. The film is set in continuous darkness, it is unclear whether it is night or winter (where the sun does not rise). Our lady starts cleaning only to find that there is a madman outside in the shadows after blood.
What follows is a cat and mouse game which is truly terrifying. I don’t get ‘scared’ as you might say from most horror films but geez this one killed me. Testament to using first person well, it was truly as if you were in the woman’s shoes being hunted (the villain is perfectly cast and does terrify). It is one scary piece of cinema which you should check out if given the chance.
UGGGGHHHHHHHHHH. This was a bummer.
Hellions started off nice and good and scary. Only to plummet into some weird parallel universe of absolute confusion. A 17 year old girl finds out she’s pregnant on Halloween and stays at home alone only to be terrorised by children dressed in scary outfits…..
As soon as the kids begin their attack the film turns into some strange science fiction movie with questionable visuals making the film look very cheap. It felt like I was watching two different films and I just wish I could have seen the continuation of the beginning of the film. Hellions seemed to take a lot of ideas from the much more entertaining ‘Trick R Treat’ which I recommend you should go and see instead.
By the end of the film, Hellions turned into some weird horror music video, with exploding pumpkins, kids chanting and rapidly intercut visuals. It was quite obvious that the director had run out of ideas because none of it made any sense to me and went on and on without direction or a point to the narrative.
I love me some pregnant lady in danger. French masterpiece ‘Inside’ is a personal favourite and of course the classic ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is a masterclass in how to terrorise the mother and the audience. The director of Hellions might have needed to do some more research to create a more cohesive and thrilling film. Waiting for a film to end is never a good sign.
Watching a sequel when I haven’t seen the first isn’t the best idea. Yet this one wasn’t as bad as it could be. With a quick introduction at the start of the film we are told of a computer site (a lot like Facebook the analogy is literally smashing you over the head) that turns its viewers into demon like zombies. The world as we know it is coming to an end and the heroine Sam is out in the apocalyptic world out for survival and after her baby which was snatched from her.
The film itself has a strong script and mythology which is quite surprising for the kind of film it is. The narrative was dense which I must congratulate director and writer Cody Calahan for doing so. However on a completely personal level the film didn’t interest me. The acting was very strong and believable but with the amount of brutal unnecessary violence and blatantly obvious themes the film felt a bit heavy handed. Not much joy to it.
I zoned out a lot of the film but as mentioned it just wasn’t my kinda jam. Saying that though there are a lot worse sequels out there and if you are into sci-fi/tech/zombie cinema this one might just be for you.
Up next the last segment of Grimmfest with Hellraiser Q and A.