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Hellbreeder (2004) - Directed by James Eaves and Johannes Roberts

In dedication towards the Hall of Infamy, I'm also dedicated to my list of the worst movies I've ever seen. If a director makes a bad movie, I need to see if he's done anything else that sucked. The first movie I reviewed for the HoI was Bane, a sadistic horror movie by James Eaves. Hellbreeder is an early Collab with 47 Meters Down director Johannes Roberts. It was a pain in the ass to find with a decent service, but I found it.

Alice lost her son to a murderer while walking out with him, and for years she's been traumatized by the death and the treatment of her abusive family. As a child murder roams the city, she takes matters into her own hands as two detectives are on the hunt for the mystery murder as well.

The movie is a murder-mystery with a Pennywise knockoff told through an "art film" combo of alternating colorings, flashbacks, psycho/dream sequences and found footage. One can tell that members of the crew are fans of Twin Peaks, and yet added a Halloween-style soundtrack out of obvious fanhood. The problem is that everything it knocks off comes on too strong. As a result, this "art horror" gets in the way of itself constantly as it's wonky narrative overpowers most efforts of character development. I mean, the villain is hardly even a character because he barely has any screen time. The surreal moments are unsettling, but they aren't at all scary. If anything, it feels like an episode of a bad 90's horror anthology TV show sometimes.

This has the potential to be REALLY GOOD. The problem is that it was a mishmash of ideas that were already done more well by the various influences it nearly plagiarized. On top of that, these influences came on too strong. They should have been tamed so they could work with each other without ever trying to hard. The monster wasn't very scary in the end, so the horror factor is minimal. The art factor is so high that it hurts more than it improves the movie. Nevertheless, the plot it has and the surreal direction make for a cool atmos and a fairly unique experience despite the near-plagiarism.