Robert Patrick

Sundance 2015: ‘Hellions’ is nothing but a pile of stale homages

Back in 2008, director Bruce McDonald released the horror film Pontypool, which was inventive and claustrophic. Pontypool promised a great new voice in horror, but it’s a promise that McDonald hasn’t lived up to since. Still, it was hard not to walk into Hellions expecting great things. Sadly there is very little in this film to admire. Hellions follows teenager Dora Vogel (Chloe Rose), who must survive Halloween night when evil trick-or-treaters come for her.

‘Kill the Messenger’ lacks a compelling message

If you can imagine Nixon resigning in the middle of All the President’s Men, with the remainder of the film dedicated to Woodward and Bernstein fighting their editor, you have a pretty good idea how Kill the Messenger plays out. It’s not a bad film, but it is a sloppy one that squanders a firecracker start and a terrific performance from Jeremy Renner. As Gary Webb ponders whether to publish his inflammatory story, he is advised that, “Some stories are just too true to tell.” Such is the case with some scripts, which, in their admirable haste to relate the truth, forget the requirements of compelling storytelling. If you want to find the heart of Webb’s story, you’ll have to dig a little deeper.

Scroll to Top