HELLVETICA is short film (comes in around 14 minutes) about struggling writer Simon (Justin Doyle) who has the opportunity to write a short story for a horror anthology. He’s excited to get a writing gig but he’s a bit intimidated because he’s never written anything in the horror genre. His girlfriend, Grace (Lindsay Francisco), is fed up with him and his dream of becoming a writer and just wants him to get a real job. Grace, in her most supportive tone (ah-hem) reminds him of his inability to scare anyone and then proceeds to tell Simon that he needs to write about what he knows. So Simon decides to expose himself to the genre and starts watching a DEXTER-like show on TV titled “Dennis.” Before you can say, “Snapp-O,” Simon begins seeing the character Dennis (Brock Duke) in real life and Dennis is being super supportive … to kill someone for the experience. So Simon starts stalking this extremely annoying 20-something douchebag, Iver (Stephen Diego), and we get to watch as Simon gets closer and tries to garner the courage to complete the deed.
Writer-director Kalen Artinian describes HELLVETICA as “that desire for success we all crave,” and I think that’s pretty accurate. There’s a lot of shallow people out there who’d be willing to kill for success!! Simon wants to be a successful writer but he also realizes he knows nothing of the horror genre. He needs to get in touch with his dark side but at first he wasn’t exactly sure how to do that. When watching a genre TV show doesn’t work he decides to take it to the next level. Simon becomes obsessed with exploring his dark side … or is it that he’s obsessed with success? I did like the subtle message HELLVETICA presents in that simply watching horrific TV/movies doesn’t make one horrific. I also liked Simon’s choice of a victim. Artinian could’ve easily gone for the typical prostitute or bully as the victim but instead chooses a 20-something hipster douchebag. This is someone we can all relate to and hate.
HELLVETICA is a tight 14 minutes and the overall acting is decent by everyone involved. I really hated Iver, the douchebag hipster, which I took to mean that Diego did a great job playing that role. My biggest complaint is that HELLVETICA plays out pretty much exactly as you expect it to. There’s no mystery to the plot and there’s no surprises or punches. It would’ve been nice if Artinian threw us a curveball in the final act and took this short in a different direction. But I really enjoyed the soundtrack. Fans of TWIN PEAKS will no doubt find some similarities.
HELLVETICA is a fun if not forgettable short film that shows the lengths some people will go to for success. But I really took it as a wake up call for all the hipster fucktards out there!! Beware; you days are numbered.
Director: Kalen Artinian (& writer)
Plot: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Gore: 1 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer