Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Hellbenders (2012)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: J.T. Petty
Starring: Clifton Collins Jr., Clancy Brown & Andre Royo
Writer: J.T. Petty

How should I word this? Mmmm. Every ounce of this movie brings me nothing but joy and I thank J.T. Petty for creating such an awesome movie. Yep I think that pretty much covers it. So I guess I should lay out the reasons for this perspective right?

Well first off the premise of the movie is a real fresh take on the exorcism genre. We are introduced to The Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints. Basically priests that sin so that when an exorcism goes wrong they can invite the demon into them and then kill themselves sending their soul and the demon back to hell. Sort of the nuclear option.

It's this premise that really allows the movie to walk the line of comedy and horror rather well. Most of the movie comes across as a comedy. However there are some scenes that actually manage to get under the skin. Also the battles with the demons are a lot more brutal than you would think. Sometimes the two tones of horror and comedy don't gel perfectly but these are few and far between.

It helps that the movie is lead by Clancy Brown and Clifton Collins Jr. They share a good chemistry together, and the shifts from serious to comedy seems effortless for them. The other players are decent if not extraordinary. The only actor that kind of grated on me was Dan Fogler, but it wasn't that bad. Personally I think that Mr Fogler is just one of those actors whose style isn't for everyone.

Probably the biggest problem with the movie , is that it builds up to something that should be really damn epic but kind of drops the ball at the end. While the end wasn't exactly what seemed to be promised, it was still fun. It's probably a budget concern but then maybe the script could of been toned down a bit. I mean when you promise the end of the world and only give us medium sized bonfires, there seems to be a problem.

Style wise the movie just oozes with it and J.T Petty really has a grasp on how he wants to the world to look. It's so assured and it really does come across that this is his baby. I really hope the man gets to do more work as with this and The Burrowers he really has talent.

If you like some horror with your comedy, or comedy with your horror then this is definitely worthy of your time. It can get a little dark and maybe you shouldn't watch it if you are expecting anything light. But in the end this is just such a complete film I have a real hard time coming up with faults. Go watch this now.

0.5 crucifixes out of 1
I loved it but there are some clashes of tones.
0.5 crucifixes out of 1
It's surprising how well the movie works, the end is a bit of a let down though.
1 crucifix out of 1
Acting is generally good with Clancy Brown and Clifton Collins Jr stealing the show.
1 crucifix out of 1
J.T Petty has some great talent.
1 crucifix out of 1
Style is great and really captures the world being built.

4 crucifixes out of 1
If the idea of this movie tickles your fancy, then watch this movie.

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