"Hellion" Raises All Too Little Hell Review

Independent films seems to have relegated itself into 5 or 6 subdivisions, and somewhere between "man-child gets record store girlfriend" and "single location horror" is the rural family drama. It's as worthy a subject as any of its compatriots, but probably a lot trickier, as so many actors look at it as an opportunity to try on funny accents. There's no reason to think that Hellion was produced with anything but the best of intentions, but it fails to bring this world into focus, opting for the showy Oscar clip moment whenever things threaten to get too real.

Hollis Wilson (Aaron Paul) is a single father struggling to hold together something of a life for his sons Jacob (Josh Wiggins) and Wes (Deke Gardner), but finds himself limited by the structures of a life on the edge of poverty. When Wes is taken by child services to live with his aunt Pam (Juliette Lewis), Hollis and Jacob do everything they can to get him back, but are only so able to confront the demands of the system, and quickly tempted to act drastically outside of it. Hellion is frequently empathetic  if never quite credible, largely thanks to the efforts of its cast,  but is undone in a large degree by the increasingly showy emotional outbursts it demands of its characters.

BONUS FEATURES

The original short film, a "Behind-The-Scenes", footage from the Sundance premiere, and the trailer.

"Hellion" is on sale September 30, 2014 and is not rated. Drama. Written and directed by Kat Candler. Starring Aaron Paul, Deke Garner, Josh Wiggins, Juliette Lewis.

Jan
29
2015
Anders Nelson • Associate Editor

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