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During Halloween, theater student Jenna Whooly returns to Bell Island to spend the holiday with her family and her boyfriend Alex Martin, a classmate of hers who was also raised on the island. Her younger brother Douglas "Dougie" Whooly is very attached to Jenna and is fascinated with the video game "Satan's Little Helper," and he becomes jealous with the presence of Alex. He leaves home wearing his costume of Satan's little helper, seeking Satan himself on the streets so he can ask him to kill Alex. Dougie meets a serial killer who, coincidently, is wearing a costume of Satan and decides to help him. He brings the insane murderer home, and Jenna and her mother Merrill Whooly believe that the masked killer is Alex acting like Satan to please Dougie. Later, the boy walks with the maniac along the streets, helping him to terrorize the locals. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nudity: 4 out of 10 (two shots of the same woman's breasts that feels obligatory and, I never thought I'd say this, boring)
Gore: 3.5 out of 10 (one over-the-top disembowel, a stabbing, and a fist fight in an alley)
On paper, this movie has a ton going for it.
1) A Halloween back-drop
2) Director Jeff Lieberman who helmed one of the very best slashers of the 80's, "Just Before Dawn"
3) A horror/comedy
4) The truly beautiful lead Katheryn Winnick wearing a somewhat skimpy medieval-themed halloween costume for the majority of the movie. (Alas, if only those medieval women were a little more coquettish. A better costume choice would have been something along the lines of a sunbather at a nude beach).
Young Douglas (Alexander Brickel) is excited because it is Halloween. In addition, his sister Jenna (Katheryn Winnick) ferries home from college for trick or treating that night.
Douglas really enjoys playing a violent video game called Satan's Little Helper, so he decides to dress up as the game's namesake. He also enjoys being around and looking at his sister, and who can blame him?
Halloween takes a turn for the worse, however, when someone dressed up in a freaky costume seems to be harming some of the townsfolk.
Douglas catches this character in one of his acts, but since he thinks it is make-believe he volunteers to be "Satan's" (little) helper.
Is it really Satan who is performing these acts of violence? Or is it someone else?
A successful horror/comedy pulls off a delicate juggling act.
Those of you who like the genre probably know what I mean: the movie needs to be somewhat scary (at least in certain parts) and the laughs have to be well-timed and almost give you a release from the tension caused by what the characters are going through.
"Satan's Little Helper" fails to deliver on both the chills and the chuckles -- and this results in the movie's greatest sin: it just isn't very much fun.
The quirky and talented Amanda Plummer is wasted here beyond her delightful enthusiasm for all things halloween (cider mugs!)
The unnecessary background information on the boyfriend, Alex (Stephen Graham), wastes a bunch of screen time and leaves you scratching your head.
Even what could have been the penultimate scene, a bunch of drunk adults at a halloween party, feels like it was phoned in. Nothing novel, interesting, or exciting here.
Budget be damned, "Satan's Little Helper" is an uninspired offering well beneath Lieberman's pedigree.
This won't be on my television come October.
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