Over in a blink

So because I suck, I didn’t keep up on my blog the way I told myself and others that I would while I was on my internship. It was a combination of limited internet connection while I was on set, doing actual work, and major procrastination. I’ll never lie an say I’m not a master procrastinator.

But honestly a big part of it was that I was having so much fun and spending so much time learning that I didn’t want to take time out of my day to sit down and write about it because I was living it. So, unfortunately, my blog suffered but I had an absolutely amazing experience and made some unbelievable memories.

First of all working with Jeff Wedding, Katie Groshong, and Eric Stanze was a completely unforgettable experience.  First of all just being in the presence of people with so much passion for what they’re doing that they are not only not being paid (and if they are it’s not much) for what they’re doing, but are actually putting their own money into this project to make it happen is inspiring in and of itself. I’ve always been someone who admires passion above all else. Everything that I’ve considered doing with my life has to do with working with people who are truly passionate about what they do.

I wound up taking a week off after my first few days since they only would have needed me 2 days, and from where I was staying in Nashville I couldn’t justify a nearly 2 hour drive for one night, and I had a few things to try and take care of at school. Katie was super understanding and was very good about letting me control my schedule since I was there doing it completely for free (not even getting credit for it).

While I was there Jeff kept asking me one question: “Are you having fun?”

He would ask me at least once every two days, and my response quickly became the same thing every time: “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.”

And it was true.

I had nothing to lose if I chose to just bail after three days. I still could have put it on a resume, I still had made connections and networked a little bit, and I could still say that I interned on a movie set. But I was having a blast. I know on my last blog I talked about how there was a lot of waiting around and I had to me quiet a lot (and we all know how hard it is for me to be quiet!), but even with all that I had so much fun.

I loved watching things unfold and come together before my eyes.

The number one thing that happened through this whole experience was gaining a whole new appreciation for the people who work behind the scenes on a movie set. It’s a really crazy thing to see how much goes into making a movie. Most people credit everything to the actors, but it’s such an incredibly small part of the production process.

I had an experience that I would never trade for anything in the world.

Feel free to leave questions in the comments and I will definitely answer what I can!

Check out GypsyRoot Productions and their other films like Gracie: Diary of a Coma Patient, A Measure of the Sin, and Night of the Babysitter and make sure you get your hands on a copy of Tennessee Gothic once it’s released. And check out Eric Stanze’s work such as In Memory Of and Scrapbook.

Tennessee Gothic Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tennessee-gothic–2#/

Katie Groshong IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1722962/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Jeff Wedding IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1723196/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

GypsyRoot Production Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gypsyrootproductions/

Eric Stanze IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0822855/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

 

 

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My first 3 days on set

On Wednesday, July 6th I drove an hour and a half from Nashville, TN to tiny little Viola, TN to begin my internship on the set of the newest feature film from GypsyRoot Productions Tennessee Gothic (link to their Indiegogo below). The drive was easy, but I have a feeling the rest of this experience is going to be a wild ride.  My first day here I felt like a fish out of water. I’m only one of two people here who has never been on a movie set before, and other than briefly meeting Katie (Groshong) several months ago I knew nobody walking into this. For someone with an anxiety disorder that is a certain kind of hell.

But I knew I wanted to be here, and I knew this was an opportunity that I would hate myself if I missed. I also now know that my new combination of meds is working even better than I realized since before I would have most definitely had a full panic attack on my way here, and on this new combo I just had some butterflies and a little bit of tightness in my chest.

When I got here I was weary. I pulled up to the beautiful, old slave-house-turned-farmhouse where we would be shooting a large part of the movie, and got out of my car. There were men sitting on the porch who I didn’t know, but I started walking toward the house none-the-less because that was really my only option. As I got closer, I saw people out to my left by the old barn and I thought I spotted Katie so I quickly changed my path and headed that way. Sure enough, she was coming toward me as I was going toward her and I heard her call out, “Is that Sarah?” She was wearing a shirt that read Bad Choice, Good story. And I was hoping the first part of that blurb would not apply to my decision to do this internship.

“Yes, it is!” I responded, feeling a little bit of relief to see a semi-familiar face.

She hugged me and thanked me for coming, and I reiterated how thrilled I am to be here. It feels so silly to me when they all thank me for being here when it’s me who should be falling down on my knees and praising them for giving me this chance.

I was quickly introduced to everyone while they got some initial, small shots taken care of, and there were a lot of names to remember. Thankfully, I think my time spent as a dance teacher with classes of more than fifteen girls at a time has tremendously helped with my ability to quickly learn names and by the end of the night I had everyone down. The first day I didn’t do much but observe and try and take everything in. Yesterday, my second day, I spent the day back and forth between the farmhouse and the church where we’re sleeping/filming other parts of the movie, and making a Walmart run so that we could feed the troops.

Today is the third day and I’m definitely slipping into the groove of things.

Before I bore you to death with all the tiny details about the boring things that I’ve been doing, I want to share with you somethings I’ve learned during my first three days on a movie set.

TOP 5 THINGS I’VE LEARNED MY FIRST THREE DAYS ON SET:

  1. The actors have the easy job –

Now, please don’t take this the wrong way because I am not in any way saying that acting is easy. I couldn’t do it, and very few people can do it well. What I mean by this is that as a viewing audience most of us never think about all the miniscule details that go into making a movie. We don’t think about the cameramen, and the PA’s, and the effects team, and the prop supervisors, and the wardrobe people. We see their work but we don’t think about the people who actually did it. Even Katie, who has worked both in front and behind the camera, says that it’s so much easier when you’re the one acting rather than behind the scenes work. Actors memorize their lines, perform them, and then they’re done. At least in the case of this shoot, it’s a very small part of the whole ordeal.

  1. There’s a lot of waiting –

You can’t work on a set and not be a little patient. And granted this is coming from someone who is working as a PA (Production Assistant), but there is a lot of time spent waiting for things: waiting for the sets to be set up, waiting for the makeup and wardrobe to be done, waiting for the film to be shot, waiting for the lights to be adjusted, waiting for the camera to be positioned. There’s a lot. Especially when working on an independent film with a small cast and a small crew and only one camera and limited resources. But, I’ll tell you what, I find it fascinating to wait and watch. The crew is so meticulous and gets everything perfect down to the last detail, and I love sitting back and watching as they work so hard to get it just right.

  1. You have to be quiet…A LOT –

If you know me you know that one word that has never been used to describe me in any situation is quiet. I’m a little bit like a toddler in that way, I get antsy and jittery and want to move around and shout when I’m told to be quiet for too long. This kind of goes along with #3, but when they’re shooting a scene you have to be as near silent as you can humanly get because the mics that they use pick up every tiny little thing.

  1. Being a PA has no one good description –

When people ask me what I’m doing it’s hard to explain in a way that doesn’t make it sound completely useless. Yes, I make a lot of food for the crew and yes I get coffee for them. But I also run back and forth between our locations to get anything that’s been left; I help transport props and costumes if needed; I basically do whatever Katie needs me to do. I’m kind of there to make her life easier while she’s producing. I’m also trying to learn anything and everything I possibly can from her. She does everything from costumes and wardrobe to meal preparations and script supervising. I’m so interested in the possibility of being a producer whether that be in movies or TV, I just want to learn as much as I can through this experience and not waste any of it…even if I am “only” making sandwiches for people.

  1. It’s an incredible experience –

GypsyRoots is a very small production company, and everyone who works on their films puts their own money into these projects. These are people who are creating because they love it. It’s not just a hobby to them despite how a lot of people probably view what they do. I love watching people who have so much passion for what they’re doing. Watching the whole thing come together is a fascinating. I’m so blessed to have this opportunity.

Tennessee Gothic Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tennessee-gothic–2#/

Katie Groshong IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1722962/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Jeff Wedding IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1723196/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

GypsyRoot Production Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gypsyrootproductions/

 

COMING SOON

In just a few short days I will be embarking on an amazing experience. I’ve mentioned before in one of my posts that I would be doing an internship with GypsyRoot Production where I will be working as a Production Assistant this summer as they work on their latest horror film Tennessee Gothic, and the time is finally here (https://goryrodden.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/jug-face-pours-out-creepiness/ ).  At the start of the summer I thought I would be doing this for credit at my school, but unfortunately due to financial problems I wasn’t able to pay for the credit hours. It made me question whether or not it would be worth the time and work that I would be putting into it.

Then I told myself to stop being an idiot.

My whole life I’ve loved movies. I grew up in a family of film buffs, and my love for horror started at an early age. I knew that if I passed up this opportunity just because I wasn’t getting any academic credit for it I would regret it for the rest of my life. Since I’m a communications major I have a lot of options for my future career, and for awhile I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I came down to Nashville in hopes of working in the music industry, and that may still be what I want to do. But I have so many doors that are going to be open to me because of this degree, including potentially working in the film industry, that I would be doing myself a major disservice by not exploring all the things that I might legitimately enjoy for myself.

So Thursday I’m headed down to Tennessee to do something that if you would have told me a year ago I would be doing I never would have believed.

You may be wondering how I got such an amazing opportunity and, because I’m just such a sweetie-pie, I’m going to tell you.

I’m part of a club at Lipscomb University called CMA Edu.  We work closely with the Country Music Association and we host events and guest speakers and help people interested in the music industry/marketing/communications field get a feel for the industry and what it means to be a part of it. So in the second semester of this last school year we were fortunate enough to host an event with the amazing Scott Scovill. For those country fans out there, he is Brad Paisley’s go-to-guy when it comes to all things touring.

Scott was amazing and gave me some great advice about the music industry, but it was his assistant Katie Groshong that really got my attention. Katie is one of the owners of GypsyRoot Productions, along with Jeff Wedding and we started talking about horror films.  This was during the time when I had to keep this blog for my 21st Century Media course so I was deep in the trenches of all things horror.  I wasn’t really watching any other type of movie, and I was reinforcing/building even more my love for the genre.

Scott had a lot to say to us, but the basic gist of most of what he was telling us was to go after what we wanted and to not be scared to ask for what we want. He also told us that we have to be willing to do the grunt work, and maybe do the not-super-fun jobs in whatever we’re doing to show that we are really serious about what we want. So, after all that, how could I not talk to Katie about potentially doing something with her company? And that’s exactly what I did.

After Scott was done speaking to us, I went to speak with Katie and she gave me her personal email address and several titles of they had made/she had acted in and the rest is history.

Sort of.

I am beyond excited for this opportunity and so completely grateful to Katie and Jeff for letting a virtual stranger with no experience on any sort of set come into this process and try and learn everything I can.  I’ll keep you updated on here, and hopefully you’ll all be able to see the film once we’re done with it.

Thank you all for reading this and taking the time to listen to what is probable a pretty boring story for you guys.

GypsyRoot Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gypsyrootproductions/

Katie’s IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1722962/

Jeff’s IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1723196/

 

Jug Face pours out creepiness

Jug FaceOK, so let me tell you why I decided to watch this movie in the first place.

STORY TIME!

This movie was on Netflix for quite some time, and I looked at it over and over again trying to decide if I wanted to give it a chance or if it was something that would really appeal to me. I decided to hold off until I had some time to look into it more and the story-line and really see what I would be getting myself into. Unfortunately, I waited just a little too long and it was taken off of Netflix and I honestly forgot about it.

But then something absolutely fantastic happened.

During our CMA Edu event with Scott Scovill I got the opportunity to talk with his personal assistant, Katie Groshong, who is an actress/producer who runs the small production company GypsyRoot with writer/director/cinematographer Jeff Wedding. We were talking about horror films and she was writing a list of movies her company had made and that she had acted in and guess what movie was on that list…

That’s right!

Jug Face!

(I hope that was the conclusion you got since that’s the film this entry is about.)

Katie was one of the actresses in this film, and that was enough to get me to check it out. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, it was taken off of Netflix and I was forced to rent it on AmazonPrime. I guess this is a prime example of “You snooze you lose”, don’t you think?

I suppose I should tell you about the movie in this film instead of just talking about how I have met one of the actresses, and sounding like I am bragging.

So, Jug Face is a fantastic example of Southern Gothic horror. The basic plot of this movie is creepy enough without any of the actual conflict. The movie follows a Southern backwoods community that has some sort of magical pit (there may or may not be some sort of creature living in it, if there is we never see it) as their god. Ada, played by Lauren Ashley Carter, is a young girl who we quickly find out has a sexual relationship with her brother.

Ada is arranged to be “joined” with the son of another family, but she finds out that she is pregnant with her brother’s child.

Gross, I know.

Meanwhile we have the story of the jug faces slowly being revealed to us. Dawai, played by Sean Bridgers, is a member of the community who is spoken to by the pit. He creates the jug faces which reveal of a face of a member of the community who is to be sacrificed to the pit. One day Ada goes to visit him, and before going in she retrieves the latest jug face from the kiln which, to her horror, is her own face staring back at her.

What would you do?

Well, she hides it.

And then all hell breaks loose.

This movie couples the creepy feel of cult life with the actual imminent danger of a very real threat within the pit. Director/writer Chad Kinkle does a beautiful job of making the audience feel conflicted about whether or not Ada is doing the right thing. Since she has angered the pit, it begins to take the lives of other members of the community while she has visions of the gruesome deaths. We are stuck in a place of complete understanding and irritation at her selfishness.

I haven’t seen a lot of Southern Gothic horror films but this definitely has me hooked and I can’t wait to watch more.

On a side-note I would like to share something with you having to do with Katie Groshong, the actress/producer I mentioned earlier.

In July I will be interning with her production company while they film their newest horror film. I am ridiculously excited about this amazing opportunity to no longer just be a viewer of a horror film, but to be able to be a part of the process of making it come to life.

Have you seen any good Southern Gothic films? What is your opinion about the genre if you have? How do you feel about the cult type creepy that is used?

Jug Face Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jug_Face

Jug Face IMDB:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2620736/

Jug Face Trailer:

Forget Me Not will not be forgotten

If you like watching former Disney kids doing the complete opposite of evForget Me Noterything we came to know and love them for, then this movie is for you. OK, OK, so there are only two of them and they are from completely different generations of Disney channel, but it was still intriguing to see people I grew up watching in less than G-rated situations now in R-rated ones. It also really has nothing to do with the plot of this movie at all, and I’ve officially crossed the border into ranting, so I digress.

(I’ll leave you wondering what Disney kids went bad in this movie for a little longer.)

Let me just get this out there right off the bat so there is no confusion over what you may be getting yourself into if you sign up to watch this movie: Forget Me Not is a stereotypical teen horror flick when it comes to the old tropes they use.

Girls in bikinis? Check

Underage drinking? Check

Sexual exploits of minors? Check

Vacations to remote locations that lead to bad news bears? Check (kind of)

You would think that this whole movie would just be something that is overplayed and stale. But despite the utilization of all the cliches in the book, the monotony ends there.  The entire concept that Forget Me Not is built around is an extremely fresh and unique idea that really caught me by surprise.

I watched this particular movie on Amazon Prime, and the synopsis left a lot to be desired, so I was more or less going into it blind.

The premise is this:

Sandy, who is played by Carly Schroeder, aka Melina from Lizzie McGuire, is that girl at their high school.  She is smart and beautiful and has a large and tight knit group of friends that most people are never lucky enough to find in high school.  Her little brother Eli, who is played by Cody Linley, aka Jake from Hannah Montanna (that’s right, ladies, Heartbreak-Jake is playing a dorky little brother and does an amazing job of mixing adorable and awkward), is a boy genius who skipped a grade, is graduating a year early with his big sister and is valedictorian of their class.  Cue-bad boy boyfriend of Sandy who is the son of the town sheriff and has a little sister who needs some serious behavioral therapy, throw in a couple more hot girls and a cheating boyfriend and you’ve got the perfect summer chick flick, right?

Wrong.

The conflict really arises when the group decides to go to a local graveyard and play a game that is very reminiscent of the old gym-class game that we all used to play in school, Ghosts in the Graveyard. A mysterious girl shows up and requests to play with them, stating it is her “favorite game.” The game springs into full effect and results with our mystery character winning. When Sandy runs after her and announces that she is the winner, the girl asks, “Do you remember me?” when Sandy does not tell her yes, her reply is “You will” before diving off a cliff.

Suddenly Sandy’s friends begin to die off (in true teen horror-flick fashion), but there’s a catch: Sandy is the only person who remembers her friends ever even existed after they’ve died.

I will end my own synopsis there before I give too much more of the film away, and I will tell you what I thought about it.

Despite the cliches and tropes they used to try and pull people into this movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was. I was not going into it expecting to see something amazing or to find my new favorite horror movie, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I did find. It wasn’t as scary as I would have hoped for, but the ghostly apparitions of their dead friends that appear right before another one is killed off were creepy enough to stick with me when I was falling asleep alone in my dorm before my roommate got back. Director Tyler Oliver married the cliches well with the unique premise he and the writers developed.

I think that this is a horror movie that even some of you who don’t enjoy horror movies could get on board with.

What do you think about the utilizations of cliches and overused tropes in the horror movies? Do you think it can work? What movies have you seen that do this well?

Forget Me Not Wiki: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forget_Me_Not_(2009_film)

Forget Me Not IMDB: 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1147684/

Forget Me Not Trailer: 

The Diabolical-ly misleading synopsis

I’m going to be completely honest with you and tell you that I decided tdiabolicalo watch this movie because of the fact that the lead actress is Ali Larter, an actress I adore. For those of you who were fans of Heroes back before the failed reboot may know her as Nikki/Jessica/Tracy/a whole other slew of characters or, for those fellow horror buffs out there, as Clear Rivers from the first two Final Destination films. I went into this expecting a poltergeist-fueled horror film with things that go bump in the night and voices coming through the TV.

I did not, however, get what I was expecting at all. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to even say about this movie. I think my main issue with this movie was that I got something completely different than what I was expecting, so I can’t even judge this with an unbiased view point. As it turned out, this was not a horror film at all, but a science fiction film.

Once I realized that I had actually gotten myself into a sci-fi film, I seriously considered turning off the movie and starting another one, but at that point I had only 20 minutes left in the film and I had committed far too much time to just give up.

The film starts out intense enough with our main character Madison (Larter) waking up to a noise in her house after falling asleep at the dining room table. After checking things out very briefly, she sits back down to continue the work she was doing on her laptop only to be interrupted by a disgustingly gruesome apparition that looks like a combination of a grown-man-sized newborn baby and a burn victim. To me this boded well for this movie.

I was severely mistaken.

We find out that Madison is a single, widowed mother of two who has been trying to figure out what exactly has been terrorizing them for some time now. She has brought in paranormal investigators, priests, clairvoyants and paranormal psychologists, to no avail. It quickly becomes clear that her children are also aware that there is something unnatural going on in their home.

Her son, Jacob (Max Rose), has been in trouble for beating one of his fellow classmates unconscious, and it becomes increasingly clear that Jacob has severe anger issues that he is unable to control.  It is alluded that his father also had problems with rage, and hints at him being abusive to Madison. Jacob has been receiving tutoring–presumably because he was suspended from school for his outburst–and we quickly find out that Madison is romantically involved with his tutor Miguel (Wilmer Calderon).

I will say that when I was still under the impression that this was a horror movie about poltergeists rather than a sci-fi movie about teleportation, I was excited at the prospect of a horror movie actually addressing the theory that poltergeists are not actually ghosts or spirits at all but are a form of negative energy. There are so many possibilities to marry sci-fi and horror with the actual lore of poltergeists. This movie, however, did not quite hit the mark.

If you like sci-fi (which I normally do), it is worth a watch.  The acting was very impressive, and I assume that if you go into it knowing more of what to expect than I did, it is a pretty good movie. For the sake of this blog, however, it was a dud.

What are your opinions on the mixing of sci-fi and horror? Are there any movies you’ve seen that have done it well?

Fear Contracted from new zombie flick

CONTRACTED_Poster_web.jpgContracted is one film that I can, without a doubt, say has not attracted nearly enough attention from the general public. This film, written and directed by Eric England, was released in 2013 and was originally viewed at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival on July 7; it was later released in theaters and on demand. I discovered this film while searching through the horror movies on Netflix for inspiration for this very blog.

Now if you’re anything like me, you probably think that the zombie genre has been completely overplayed within the last few years with popular film and television such as The Walking Dead and World War Z, bringing the genre more into the mainstream than it ever has been before. I find it hard not to roll my eyes when there is a new zombie film announced.  Let’s be real with each other; there are only so many ways that you can re-wear the same old hat before it gets stale and unimpressive.

Contracted was a pleasant surprise for me.

I seem to be in disagreement with a large number of other critics out there (link to Rotten Tomatoes //www.rottentomatoes.com/m/contracted/) in my opinions on this film, and if you are can stomach the gruesome transformation our poor main character takes from ordinary girl to flesh-eating zombie then you may have to simply watch it and make the decision for yourself.

Not unlike the last movie I reviewed for you all, Hellions ( https://goryrodden.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/hellions-aka-children/ ), this film starts off with an ill-advised sexual experience for our main character Samantha (Najarra Townsend) with a stranger after a fight with her girlfriend.  Unfortunately, a night without a condom leads to something far worse than the STD’s we learned about while blushing through our high school health classes.  When Samantha wakes up the next day, she has dark, spidering veins that often are associated with some sort of blood infection spreading across her skin, and it only gets worse from there, my friends.

This movie is a far cry different from most zombie flicks as it follows the three days leading up to what causes the massive out-break that is mapped out in the sequel Contracted: Phase 2 (review to come).  We still don’t know who our “patient zero” is, but we see the devastating transformation of this girl as she spirals mentally, emotionally and physically into the “life” of a zombie.

As much as I enjoyed this movie, I will say that it is not a film for those of you out there who like only fast-paced, action-packed films that are a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish. The pacing is what makes this movie for me. England knew exactly where and when to put things in the timeline of this movie to pack the most punch.  We weren’t forced to accept that this girl had unprotected sex, contracted a zombie STD, and within the week was a flesh-eating monster all within the first ten minutes of the film.

It was not an A-to-Z type of jump.

There was plot.

It was well-developed, which is something that I think has been severely lacking in the horror genre over the last couple of decades.

If you are a zombie fan who has the patience for well-thought-out, well-written plots, then this movie is absolutely worth every bit of your time.

What do you think? Are zombie movies old-hat? Are horror movies losing their use of plot and relying on mindless gore and violence? What do you think about the unique nature of how the disease is spread in this film?

Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/contracted/

Contracted Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chqtOlOEdsY

Contracted IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2281159/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Contracted Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contracted_(film)

 

 

Hellions aka children

HellionsI tried desperately to come up with some sort of catchy and quick-witted line to open this entry with. I could not, however, come up with a satisfactory line to describe my mix of feelings about the Canadian horror film Hellions.  Director Bruce McDonald makes a lot of decisions that you don’t expect to see in the horror genre that, at times, took the film to the next level and at other times left me confused and anything but scared.

The movie starts out scary enough with the announcement that our main character, Dora (Chloe Rose) is pregnant. Teen pregnancy, however, is not the most disturbing thing about this movie. It’s Halloween night, and Dora decides to stay home rather than go to a party with her boyfriend or accompany her mother and brother trick-or-treating.

I mean, would you want to go out and party it up when you’ve got to figure out how to tell your boyfriend he knocked you up?

Dora decides in the end to go to the party with her boyfriend and dresses up in an angel costume (which seems symbolically fitting, don’t you agree?) and waits for him to arrive.

Except he never shows up.

The only visits Dora gets are from some of the creepiest trick-or-treaters you will ever see, and they want a lot more than candy.

This movie, without giving too much away, left a lot to be desired in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong–McDonald plays the creepy-child card very well, and for the first half of the movie my skin was crawling. Then things get a little iffy, and he lost my faith.

I’m all for artistic films and pushing the boundaries, but there are just certain places that artistic liberties are not needed or wanted, and one of those is horror films of this type. There is a way to push the boundaries in horror, which typically include questions like: “How much blood can we get in this film without the studio labeling us NC-17 (shout out to the Evil Dead)?” or “How long do you think a person could reasonably live without his or her extremities?” or “Do you think that sewing people together to make a giant human chain will go over well?”

This movie didn’t ask those types of questions.

Granted, there was a disturbing scene of Dora hallucinating herself eating a fetus, and the children’s masks are the things of nightmares, their boundary-pushing questions seemed to be more along the lines of: “How many random and unnecessary cut scenes can we put in before our audience is so confused they’re not even sure which way is up?”

I don’t know the exact number, but I can tell you they achieved it.

I got hopelessly lost within the plot, and just when I thought they were bringing things back to some sort of sense and order, something else would happen that would confuse me even more. They would give me just enough time to get pulled back into the action and the horror, and then I’d fall back out of it, or rather be pushed.

As someone who fancies herself an amateur writer, I can tell you one thing I’ve learned that remains true in every genre: There has to be rules.

It doesn’t matter if it’s fantasy or sci-fi or horror; the world you are creating has to have rules and parameters so that your audience can understand what the conflict is. Without rules there is no way of understanding motivation.

Overall, if you aren’t already a big horror fan, don’t waste your time on this film. If you’re a film buff who loves cinematography or a horror fan who just loves to watch any and everything, it might be worth one watch through.

What do you think about horror films that get a little too artsy?  Do you think that it takes away from the purpose of a horror film?

 

Hellions IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3305844/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Hellions Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellions_(film)

Hellions Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUwxpVhpFHU