Hellmington centres on Detective Samantha Woodhouse, distressed over the recent death of her father and tormented by a forgotten yet mysterious case of the disappearance of a former high school classmate. In order to piece together the puzzle of the latter, Samantha reconnects with her past while she’s in town for the funeral; including meeting old acquaintances and people who were close to her late dad.
Nicola Correia-Damude commits to her performance as Samantha which, unfortunately, includes staying faithful to the narrative flaws this character has. It’s a straining role that gradually strips away layers of emotions until Samantha is in a teary crisis by the third act. However, while the character is both physically and mentally strong, her persistently stoic personality prevents the audience from engaging with her. The performance also doesn’t pair well with other actors – it makes the supporting cast look as if they’re crewing scenery.
There’s a consistent and encompassing discord in Hellmington that doesn’t seem intentional by filmmakers Jay Drakulic and Alex Lee Williams. Aside from the imbalance between performances, the film shifts between acting as a cold case drama and acting out as a hardcore horror/thriller ala Mandy. Both styles seem undercooked on their own, and they never meet in the middle to create something new.
And because it’s so inconsistent and tedious, Hellmington does nothing but burn its audience
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie