One thing I loved about 80's horror were are all the cool occult flicks that were made. You know which ones I'm talking about, films like "Witchcraft", "Witchboard", "976-Evil", "The First Power". They just don't seem to make those types of horror films anymore. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a film called "Hellion", about a backyard cubbyhouse overrun by the forces of Satan. Yee-haw, they do still make em' was my initial reaction. Then I started getting scared for three main reasons.
1. I am a horror junkie however I had never even heard a passing mention of this film.
2. Not a single review of the movie on Amazon
3. Selecting horror movies I've never heard of because they have a cool title and nifty cover art has proven a fatal mistake to me oh so many times.
Well I'm glad to say that "Hellion" was a nice little film that did not cause me any pain and as a matter of fact I enjoyed it quite a lot!
The story centers around the Graham family: single mom Lynn, her teenaged son Danny and two younger children Ivan and Natalie. After a messy divorce, Lynn decides to leave Santa Monica, California for her native country of Australia with her three American-born sons. They move into a crumbling old house on the Gold Coast. The house definitely needs work but one thing it has going for it is a huge backyard with a nice little cubbyhouse at the edge of the property. One day while visiting the town village, Danny is informed by one of the locals that the cubbyhouse in the yard is cursed with "pure evil" and that 30 years ago 2 kids were slayed by a devil worshipper in same said house. Danny dismisses this talk as nonsense until he starts noticing awfully strange things happening in that new backyard of his. Hmm maybe there's a good reason why the house was abandoned for so many years...
"Hellion" is an American-Australian co-production filmed in Oz with great scenic shots. At times I actually forgot it was an Aussie film since the bulk of the story surrounds the Grahams who obviously speak with American accents but there are several interesting supporting characters such as the cute girl next door who Danny is enamoured with, the long-haired town local who supplies the spook stories and a scuzzy real estate agent. On the downside, a few things about this film appeared pretty odd to me: A young brother and sister sharing the same bedroom. Danny supposedly grew up in California yet speaks with a Texas drawl. The person whose kids were killed 30 years ago doesn't look a day over 40. Oh well, what's a cheesy horror film good for when you can't find inconsistencies to poke fun at?
So why should someone bother watching "Hellion?" For one, the CGI effects are a sight to behold, not in terms of quality but because of how cheesy and creative they are. They had me staring in disbelief. It's filled with occult imagery like pentagrams, candles, satanic verses, people in red cloaks so if you like these types of things in your horror films look no further. And while it drags on occasion the finale is blistering and wraps the film up nicely. Don't let my relatively low star rating dissuade you from giving "Hellion" a try. I just don't want to pass it off as a great film (which it's not) but it's definitely worth a shot for the undiscriminating horror fan.