"Hellion" Review

A family dealing with the aftermath of their matriarch’s death, slowly unravels at the seams. It’s an all too familiar  theme, and “Hellion” is one of those indie flicks that doesn’t get good until the last twenty minutes. Unfortunately, most viewers probably won’t last long enough to see it.

Writer/director Kat Candler’s short turned feature film stars Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) as Hollis Wilson, a father in mourning. He spends his time at work, with his friends, or in a bottle of booze while his two sons fend for themselves. With the physical absence of their mother, and emotional absence of their father, the boys do what most boys do with no supervision...get into trouble. 

Newcomers Josh Wiggins and Deke Garner deliver solid performances as Jacob and Wes Wilson respectively. Wes looks up to his older brother Jacob and is willing to follow him anywhere, even when it leads to police visits and the state separating them. After a couple run ins with the law, Wes is forced to live with his aunt Pam (Juliette Lewis). It’s only then that Hollis and Jacob start to fight for Wes and maybe some semblance of structure in their lives. 

In an indie drama like this, it’s essential for you to be invested in its’ characters. Unfortunately, it takes too long to get that buy in. The story itself doesn’t seem to move forward for most of the movie. It circles on a merry-go-round of similar sequences over and over until it finally let’s go and propels forward in the last twenty minutes. The actors worked with the material they had, but I think this is a case of a short film that probably should have stayed that way.

Rating: D

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.