Detective Samantha Woodhouse (Nicola Correia-Drakulic) goes a-sleuthing after her father spits out the name of a girl who has been missing for nigh-on nine years upon his death bed… a girl who went missing after some sort of prom thing or another.
Complicating matters are the strange cult that inhabits Sammy’s hometown… not to mention the fact our heroine may have a connection to the disappearance! Will Samantha be able to crack the case and remain confident of who she is?
Filmmakers Jay Drakulic and Alex Lee Williams deliver one hell of a stylish thriller with Hellmington… but the film has much more going for it than aesthetics and groovy camera-work.
The suspense remains tight throughout (with plenty of well-constructed ramp-ups), the mystery is engaging, and the performances, especially that provided by Correia-Drakulic as Samantha are on-point… especially as the emotional turmoil of her investigation takes it’s toll on her character’s psyche.
Another big check in the plus column for this fright flick is the inclusion of the legendary Michael Ironside (Scanners) who plays Samantha’s perverted uncle (so much so that she refuses to stay at his house).
Finally adding to the atmosphere is the experimental and amazingly effective soundtrack courtesy of Cults (an appropriate name considering the picture’s subject matter) that contains plenty of pulse-pounding ambient goodness among it’s more traditional sonic soundscapes.
If there is a negative to be had with Hellmington it’s that it tries too hard to be too many different things at once. Is it a mystery… or a thriller… or a full-on horror film? Well, the answer is “Yes” to all, and the film seems slightly unfocused here and there as a result. Fortunately, the over-all experience is successful, but I can’t help to wonder if the film could have been even stronger if it had committed to one or the other.
To put the cherry on this sinister sundae; Hellmington is an incredibly well-made mystery cum thriller that also functions as a full on fright flick… but never fully decides if it’s any of those things.