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Upon the news from her police sergeant paternal uncle Rupert Woodhouse of her father Joe Woodhouse, a former prison guard, being on his deathbed, Samantha Woodhouse, a police detective herself, returns to her small hometown of Hellmington to be by her father's side, despite they having been estranged for years. Gasping for his last breaths, Joe blurts out the name Katie Owens just before he dies. Katie was the daughter of Vic Owens, a prison guard colleague of Joe's, and a classmate of Sam's who went missing shortly after their high school prom almost twenty years ago. Vic, too, disappeared mysteriously before Katie. Katie's disappearance was never solved, although her boyfriend at the time, Brad Kovacs, was always suspected of having something to do with it. Brad has always asserted that Katie went missing after receiving an invitation to go to an occultist meeting, the occult which she was researching at the time and in which she had always believed. Because of Joe's dying words, ...Written by
Hellmington was the winner of the 2015 Cinecoup Film Accelerator challenge which grants $1 Million in financing. Over the course of 10 weeks, filmmakers pitch their film ideas through a series of challenges that occur at the beginning of every week. By the end of the festival, 5 are chosen to pitch the film to a panel of industry professionals at the Banff World Media Festival. The original film concept was a Fictional Horror Documentary that focused on the missing case of Katie Owens, but after the film won the competition, the studio decided to re-focus the story with as a narrative. See more »
Even Though A Decent One, It's Just Another Small Town Mystery
I didn't even read the synopsis before watching "Hellmington", but half way through it was apparent what kind of beast this is. The main selling point for me was Michael Ironside & an appearance from a growing director favorite of mine - Adam McDonald.
"Hellmington" is the name of the county where the story takes place & a big-city detective is returning there to fight demons of the past & solve the mystery. Sounds familiar? Nevertheless, "Hellmington" turned out to be just alright. It's visibly low-budget, with most of the action happening sort-of-off-screen, but clever editing plays a part here as well, same applies to the cinematography. Whenever Michael Ironside appears to fill in his supporting role, he's received with open hands, and yes, the rest of the performances are fine as well. "Hellmington" is a mediocre (or maybe slightly above that) mystery, written well enough to keep You engaged - everything clicks at the end, to an arguably satisfying level. The kind of mystery that won't blow your mind and will be forgotten fast enough. The pacing is steady enough, but would start falling flat if the total runtime was 10 minutes longer. One thing I liked at the start but disliked at the end was the original score - it's quite repetitive. Sadly, I have to mention that the notes of horror are rare and not very loud, "Hellmington" qualifies to be called a mystery thriller. At best.
There's nothing very impressive or memorable about "Hellmington", but it's also not cheesy, goofy or effortless. If you're a fan of indie mysteries and want a one night stand with a movie you'll never watch again, here it is. My rating: 5/10.
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