Top critical review
Could have been so much more
Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2019
*Spoilers if anyone cares. (You shouldn't).
Hell Girl has a good premise, but ultimately, it falls short in too many areas, laying low the entire film. The positives are the film is generally cast well, but the script sucks. You can see there is talent among the main crew but with the way this script is written and how the film progresses, that potential isn't realized. Let's start with Jedidiah (Tom Sizemore) who may be the most recognizable person in the film. I know he's in the doghouse in Hollywood for his most recent transgressions but Tom proved he still has the skills in the bathroom scene when Lindsay (Kherington Payne) is in the tub. Sitting there reveling in his plans as he's about to rape Lindsay, his demonic daughter, I could see Jedidiah as a demon overlord even though he's out of shape with a gut. But just like every other scene in the film that starts off good, something happens that screws it up. In this case, Jedidiah goes from being the creepy demon overlord to whining like a typical henchman with cheesy lines that didn't fit his character from a moment prior when Lindsay slits her wrists and bleeds out in front of him. Don't even get me started on how he's defeated. The less said about that dumpster fire scene the better.
What's worse is that the film isn't even consistent with its own lore. If Jedidiah is a powerful demon trying to fill the world with his demonic offspring, how could he NOT know that killing them makes them stronger? Laura (Tara Westwood) spent over a century killing those impregnated/infected by Jedidiah after being infected herself which was pissing Jedidiah off. But those she dispatched didn't come back stronger than before? Laura was a prostitute when Jedidiah paid to sleep with her over a century prior, yet when she committed suicide, she came back. Why not the others? Why not Nikki (Lauren Compton) who was pregnant with Jedidiah's kid when she was killed. It just didn't make sense or maybe I just missed something.
Other issues that didn't sit well with me is that the other supporting characters ended up being nothing more than a waste of time. Fodder for the beast. Charity (Masha Malinina) slaughtered almost the entire group at will and the reactions to each death by the rest of the crew is totally unrealistic. As an example the group watches as Charity grabs the leader of the group and rips his throat out in one vicious bite and the reaction is basically like "wow, that sucks." Instead of calling it in, trying to get help or getting out of dodge, their solution is to go "get" the little demon girl? Let's keep this in the proper perspective. A little girl who looks to be no older than maybe 10 or 11 just yanked a grown man off of a porch and ripped his throat out but somehow Zoe the security specialist (Diana Lu) thinks she's going to be able to beat this little girl into submission or worse? At that point in the film they all KNEW something super natural was going on. The only cop that bothered to show up to the location earlier in the film goes with Zoe to get Charity and guess what happens to them? They get brutally murdered for their troubles. It was asinine.
Yeah, 2*. Only because I generally liked the cast and the idea behind the premise, but absolutely hated the way it progressed and how it ended.