Hellmington (2019)

hellmington

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A detective returns to her hometown and uncovers something increasingly sinister in this very tense thriller from the duo of Jay Drakulic and Alex Lee Williams.

City detective Samantha Woodhouse has not been doing well. Since the death of her young daughter and the collapse of her marriage, she has been in a slump. Things get worse when her uncle, Hellmington sheriff Rupert Woodhouse calls Sam to inform her that her father is on his deathbed. Deciding for closure, Sam decides to head to Hellmington, the first time in years since she has been there. Upon seeing her father, her father’s dying words are those of a woman who has been missing for nine years: Katie Owens.

Katie’s father Vic, a prison guard who was also friends with Sam’s father, also mysterious disappeared. Going against her uncle, Samantha decides to investigate about Katie’s disappearance. She has heard many rumors that Katie’s old boyfriend, Brad Kovacs, may have been involved in her disappearance. However, after interviewing him, she believes he has nothing to do with it. When she discovers more about what has happened, dark secrets are soon revealed and to her horror, Samantha learns she may be somehow connected to the disappearance.

This was quite a surprising tense thriller that brings the story of a detective returning to her hometown and finds herself in a situation that both brings the past back and affects her future. The directing duo of Jay Drakulic and Alex Lee Williams, along with Michelle Aseltine, came up with a very well thought out mystery that takes many twists and turns throughout the film. The film can be thought of as a Canadian Twin Peaks with a very flawed protagonist who has enough problems to deal with and finds herself even deeper than she intends to be.

Nicola Correia-Damude brings a sense of trepidation as well as resilience to the role of Samantha, who returns to her hometown to find closure with her estranged father and finds herself following an alleged cold case involving the disappearance of a former classmate. Sam, still reeling from the death of her daughter and the failure of her marriage, finds herself at a constant crossroads and even coming across a mysterious figure with a goat head, which makes the viewer believe she is going through delusions as a result of all of her own misgivings. As the investigation continues, we see Sam delving deeper into somewhat of a downward spiral but she still shows her resilience, there are a few shocking twists that continue until a very shocking finale.

The supporting cast is top notch. The legendary Michael Ironside plays Sam’s very stern and concerned uncle Rupert, who is the small town’s sheriff. Despite having not as much prominent screen time, there is something about Munro Chambers that screams “best underrated actor”. After an amazing sinister performance in Knuckleball (which co-stars Ironside), Chambers really goes both ways in terms of moods from playing the nerdy Brad Kovacs in the flashbacks to a very mysterious and shady present-day Brad as he is questioned by Sam about the missing Katie Owens. The film just makes great use of its characters as seen in both the flashbacks and present day as they both explore two different sides of the spectrum as it pertains to their past and present selves.

Hellmington is a very tense thriller that takes a flawed protagonist and sends her into a deeper downward spiral that brings back past demons that she never expected to relive. An excellent supporting cast makes this an excellent film.

WFG RATING: B+

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Coup Company production in association with Blind Luck Pictures and Vortex Words Pictures. Directors: Jay Drakulic and Alex Lee Williams. Producer: Michelle Aseltine. Writers: Michelle Aseltine, Jay Drakulic, and Alex Lee Williams. Cinematography: Michael Caterina. Editing: Ken Simpson.

Cast: Nicola Correia-Damude, Michael Ironside, Yannick Bisson, Monica Parker, Gabe Grey, Allegra Fulton, Kyra Harper, Angelica Stirpe, Munro Chambers, Adam McDonald, James Eddy, Robin Archer.

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