Within the final two years, The Adams household — Toby Poser, her husband, John Adams, and their daughters, Zelda and Lulu — started producing lo-fi rock below the band title H6LLB6ND6R and made “Hellbender,” their sixth characteristic movie collectively. Poser, Zelda and John co-wrote and co-directed the movie, and all of the members of the family had performing roles. The music venture impressed the film venture, an act of true collaboration that noticed Poser, Zelda and John buying and selling locations in entrance of and behind the digital camera to execute their imaginative and prescient. Many scenes had been devised advert hoc, as inspiration struck. Whereas the result’s a mostly-compelling story of matriarchal megalomania, often this group composition feels extra like a jumble.
Within the movie, a mom (Poser) with mysterious, witchy powers retains her daughter Izzy (Zelda Adams) remoted on their rural property by telling her she is immunocompromised. As Izzy comes of age and befriends a neighborhood teenager (Lulu Adams), she discovers she stems from a lineage of Hellbenders, supernatural girls who asexually reproduce and draw their magic from the blood of dwelling creatures.
That preliminary premise is acquainted in horror, however “Hellbender” takes a contemporary strategy. Some eager modifying by John Adams and particular results by Trey Lindsay elevate this into formidable style fare, with psychedelic sequences which are remarkably polished. When you thought a no-budget movie couldn’t characteristic pirates, flying witches and underground lairs, suppose once more.
But the movie’s spooky focus is commonly waylaid by detours. H6LLB6ND6R seems not solely on the soundtrack, but additionally as an precise band within the script, yielding tonally discordant sequences that really feel like music video breaks. It’s definitely attainable to make a tremendous horror movie about insatiable monster-women with some irreverence — Julia Ducournau did it with “Uncooked” — however “Hellbender” isn’t targeted sufficient to nail it.
Not rated. Working time: 1 hour 26 minutes. Watch on Shudder.