Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Hellions

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Hellions

Article excerpt

(2014)

Directed by Bruce McDonald

In Hellions seventeen year old Dora finds out that she is pregnant on Halloween. The film has some familiar tropes of the horror genre; the setting is an isolated rural farmhouse, the boyfriend dies, it takes place on Halloween, and there is the recurrence of masked characters at the door (who begin their bombardment as common trick-or-treaters but escalate into a terrifying presence). Some of the demons dress in garb not dissimilar from traditional "mummers" costuming. The director does a good job of making the mundane appear frightening.

The main character, Dora (Chloe Rose), is an intrepid, clever heroine, which is a welcome departure from traditional horror films. Although several people attempt unsuccessfully to rescue her, she ultimately fights for her own soul and that of her child.

The "hellions" are small child-sized demons. The director manages to make them terrifying but portrays this with minimal special effects. We're shown that the demons are humanoid but leftto guess at their facial features. They live underground and seem to only make their presence known during Halloween every generation when they surface to claim an infant from a pregnant mother. The costuming further drives home the point that this is about a battle between good and evil. Dora dresses for Halloween in a white dress, angel wings, and a tiara, and this is what she wears throughout the film in her battle against the demons. …

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