Kat Candler's Hellion is the story of a family on the brink of collapse in a small, rural Southeast Texas town. Jacob, the elder brother of the family unit, is a metal listening, dirt bike enthusiast whose behavior has started to raise questions around town as it pertains to his father, Hollis' ability to control his children. Things quickly escalate when Wes, the youngest brother, is pulled into Jacob's delinquent behavior prompting foster care to temporarily force West to live with his Aunt. Kat Candler's Hellion is a powerful family story with a great central performance by Aaron Paul but unfortunately it's a film that doesn't trust its characters enough, relying on a few ham-fisted plot devices that simply feel overly-dramatic and cheap. In terms of point of view, Kat Candler's Hellion struggles at times deciding whose story it is. It's clearly an ensemble piece about a family dealing with the death of their mother/wife but the film never seems to choose whose point-of-view is the primary focus. The film begins from the point of view of Jacob, capturing the adolescent angst and delinquency of an emotionally unstable youth before becoming much more about Hollis' struggles as a single father attempting to deal with sorrow of losing his wife and their mother. These stories are both strong but I believe the film would have worked better if it chose one and strengthened it. Hellion is simply put, a downbeat father-son story about accountability which mirrors its protagonists, feeling more like a work in progress that occasionally succeeds but often meanders around the typical tropes of a broken home and delinquent youth.
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