Starring: Josh Wiggins, Aaron Paul, & Juliette Lewis
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Coming of age films are a dime a dozen, and what it really comes down to is the stregth of the young actor or actress. The way it usually works out is that the better they are, the better the film is, and when it comes to Hellion, casting was dead on, but there was also something else that made this one special. After losing his mother, Jacob Wilson (Josh Wiggins) started acting out. Maybe his fathers transformation into a full blown alcoholic had something to do with it, or maybe it's the fact that he's left to be the adult and take care of his little brother that's the problem, but whatever the case it gets a whole lot worse. After stupid teenaged behavior causes his younger brother to be taken away and placed with his aunt, Jacob has to become the adult and convince his father to clean up in order to bring his little brother home, a herculean task, when you consider the fact that Jacob himself is still a wreck. The young star of the film, newcomer Josh Wiggins is absolutely terrific, outshining multiple award winning actors and actresses in this film, but he's not the only difference here. Hellion takes on the dark southern poverty stricken surreal feeling of other similar films that have become extremely popular in recent years. Similar to Winter's Bone, Joe, and Mud, there is an aspect to this film that is methodical and real. It's almost like you aren't watching a movie, you're just seeing real life unfold in front of your eyes. This combined with an extraordinary young talent made this extremely enjoyable to watch. Everything was very raw, emotional, and just real, a credit to both the writer, director, and cast involved in Hellion. This style is fairly new in cinema and has really defined the 2010s era, to see it combined with something that was so relate-able made for a very special film.