HELLMINGTON *** Canada 2018 Dir: Justin Hewitt-Drakulic, Alex Lee Williams. 83 mins
When police officer Samantha Woodhouse (Nicola Correia-Damude) is contacted by her uncle letting her know of her estranged fathers imminent death, she begrudgingly heads back to her home town of Hellmington to say her goodbyes. Sitting by his bedside his final words to her are curious. He blurts out a name from her past, Katie Owens. An old school acquaintance of Sam’s who disappeared after researching an occult group called The Revenions. Sam and Katie (Angelica Stirpe) were from different social circles in school, Sam was one of the popular ones and Katie was one of the outsiders the only time Katie and Sam conversed was when Sam assaulted Katie at their high school prom so they were not on the best of terms when they went their separate ways. After her father’s passing Sam stays and vows to get to the bottom of Katie’s case in ways of making amends for their bad blood. Doing some digging into the case uncovers some shocking revelations about what happened back then and even more tragic happenings that have occurred more recently in Sam’s life. She questions other people that were students at the time including Katie’s then boyfriend who was the main suspect initially but they couldn’t find any evidence of murder, he brings her attention back to The Revenions. All the while she is getting closer to solving the case she constantly feels like she is being watched and catches glimpses of strange masked figures.
This is a good mystery movie with some creepy elements to it but not enough for my liking. The cinematography is very well done with a fitting soundtrack and some effective build ups. There is one twist that I enjoyed but the rest of them can be seen a mile off. I really liked the costume and mask designs for The Revenion characters but felt they were very under used. There is quite a lot going on in this so the horror element is squashed in and feels like an after thought which was a bit of a disappointment. It is well acted, they even cast Michael Ironside as Correia-Damude’s characters uncle who is also a police officer which you are never too sure if he is with her or against her. Correia-Damude comes across a bit one dimensional and grumpy to start with but does improve. If they had stuck to the main story, which is primarily a thriller without confusing things with the supernatural element maybe even made the run time up to 90 minutes this may have made the movie a bit better. It was a good watch none the less.
Review by Sarah Budd