SXSW Film Review: 'Hellion'

Kat Candler knows a thing or two about initiation

There's nothing worse than being a misunderstood teenager … except perhaps being a misunderstood teenager whose mom just died, who's on probation for boyhood hijinks, and whose father may or may not lose custody of you and your younger brother.

In her third feature, recently picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects, Austin writer/director Kat Candler tells the heartbreaking story of motocross racer and metalhead Jacob Wilson as he struggles through his initiation into adulthood in the South Texas town of Port Arthur, complete with hard lessons in responsibility, perseverance, and defeat. Castmates Juliette Lewis and Aaron Paul (who stands out in a big-screen role slightly more mature albeit just as downtrodden as Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman) both shine in their parental roles, but it's young star Josh Wiggins who carries much of the film on his 15-year-old shoulders. Though his character may hit a dead end before adulthood, we trust this actor has a very bright future ahead.

See our profile on Kat Candler, "Hell's Belle," March 6, here.


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