Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 157

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 24, 2022 at 04:51 AM



759.51 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 22 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 5 / 10

Metal in the woods

Toby Poser, John Adams, and their daughters Zelda and Lulu made The Deeper You Dig, a movie that divided Becca and me. For their follow-up, the Adams family has created a movie all about 16-year-old Izzy (Zelda), whose mother (Toby Poser) keeps isolated due to a rare illness. Yet as Izzy begins to grow as a woman - beyond playing metal songs (written by Toby and Zelda) as the band H6LLB6ND6R without an audience may not be enough - she escapes to another home in the woods where she meets Amber (Lulu), who gives her a bikini and the chance to drink with teenagers.

Yet when she consumers a live worm, the hunger of being a hellbender opens her eyes and she soon learns exactly why her mother keeps her from others.

At first, I felt like this movie was kind of like seeing an opening act at a show and not feeling the first few songs that they play. It feels inauthentic. Not metal? Silly facepaint? And then before you know it, you're nodding your head and feeling the urge to headbang by the end of the set. This film took some time to grow on me - The Deeper You Dig had some of the same issues - but when it works, it works.

The effects either look great for the budget or remind you of the budget, yet never feel like they're organic to the film. That's fine - this is a very DIY effort - and it actually becomes charming. I've never really trusted homeschooled kids who are too close to their parents, but maybe this is one of those families that gets the dynamic right.

It's intriguing that Hellbender has been playing Fantastic Fest with Luzifer, another film that centers on an isolated relationship between a mother and child, albeit one that's more sacred and profane at the same time.

Reviewed by kannibalcorpsegrinder 9 / 10

Incredibly chilling slow-burn genre effort

Growing up isolated with her mother, a teenager who spends her time playing in a metal band with her or exploring the woods away from others meets a friend where she discovers the real reason behind them living alone together and must race to stop her deadly heritage from engulfing her and her friends.

There was quite a lot to like with this one. What really works nicely here is the impeccably strong setup that offers quite a fun immersive experience. Since we spend so much time getting an idea of the relationship between the mother and her daughter that becomes far more of a kidnapping/human trafficking experience due to the harshness of the living conditions forced upon her by expressly forbidding any contact with the outside world despite the daughter's objections, this lays an intriguing groundwork for the film to follow. The idea is quite chilling and becomes much more so when the true intent beyond their living condition is presented that offers hints at a deadly family legacy and heritage which is a stark contrast to the rest of the film. With this in place, the films' shift into the supernatural comes off incredibly well with the friendship that blossoms and how it turns into the revelation involving witchcraft. Knowing the reason why her mother kept her hidden was due to the history of witchcraft involved within the family, including all sorts of dark spells and deadly incantations that have been passed down for generations, adds immensely to the first half of the film with the result taking on a far more sinister connotation with the immersion into teaching the ways of witchcraft. This montage of the two of them going through the motions of learning how to craft trinkets and other ornaments that are useful to their studies while being offset by the flash psychedelic images of witches and other incredibly strange images that are quite disorienting. These aspects, along with the strong supernatural sequences showing the witchcraft taking hold as the spells and powers on display are quite fun and exciting producing some great gore as well, to give the film quite a bit of likable qualities. There isn't much to dislike here but it does have some minor issues. The main drawback is the slightly sluggish pacing which isn't bad at all but could potentially be an issue for some out there. Since the majority of the film alternates between either the mother/daughter relationship out in the woods or the journey to understanding the truth about her witchcraft heritage including the learning of the ingredients to prepare her powers, those expecting more straightforward action and bloodletting might lose interest in the film by the point it gets to that. This is especially true after the exceptionally strong beginning that signals something far darker and more action-packed is going to come but it never does and that can be somewhat disappointing. Some of the other factors involving the weak CGI for their powers aren't that impressive either, but for the most part, it plays into the charm and doesn't hold it back too much.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.

Reviewed by gaberh1234 9 / 10

Fantastic family effort!

This was by far the best film I caught at this year's Brooklyn Horror Fest. It's a creepy horror story/coming of age tale that is very well written and shot with stellar performances from all the actors involved.

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