Remember, kids, drink your tequila sans worm, please. Or else you might discover a starving, hidden power inside yourself, just aching to be fed. At least, if you belong to a line of Hellbenders, you will. But would you really want to take that chance? Or maybe, you would. After all, why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary? That whole blood consumption thing is just a minor detail. A new clip from Hellbender, a half coming-of-age tale/half horror movie, invites you to consider the possibilities.
This new clip sets the scene for the whole of Hellbender, a Shudder original movie. As Izzy, a lonely 16-year old girl, hungry to find friends and know a life beyond her mother, accidentally unlocks a hidden magic inside of herself. After she swallows the living worm, everything changes for her. But not in the ways she’d originally hoped. Whether her life becomes better, when instead of a bit of underage buzz, her powers scream to life inside of her, or worse, is up to the audience.
The short scene from the movie perfectly conveys its mix of coming-of-age drama and intensely eerie horror. In it, whispering magic meets fun rock stylings. An ordinary teen rite of passage meets a howling magical one. And a moment of terror combines with someone yelling at troublesome kids to get off his lawn. It isn’t your usual juxtaposition, but it is a relatable one. Who among us hasn’t badly wanted to fit in, only to find out we were even stranger than we thought?
The official description for the horror movie shares:
In Hellbender, 16-year-old Izzy (Zelda Adams) suffers from a rare illness that has kept her isolated on a mountaintop with her mother (Toby Poser) her whole life. As Izzy begins to question her sickness, she pushes back against her confinement and secretly befriends Amber (Lulu Adams), another girl living on the mountain, but her newfound happiness is derailed after she eats a live worm as part of a juvenile game and finds an insatiable and violent hunger awakened within her. To understand the hunger, Izzy must learn the dark secrets of her family’s past and the ancient power in her bloodline.
Toby Poser, Zelda Adams, and John Adams wrote, directed, edited, scored, shot, and starred in the film. “With real-life mother and daughter Toby and Zelda playing on-screen mother-daughter witches with electrifying results.” A real bond that genuinely adds to their connection in the film. Though we only see Izzy appear in the new Hellbender clip, this bond is central to the whole story.
The directors share in a statement:
We too live on a remote mountainside, with deer, bears, and eagles our neighbors. Animal carcasses pock the landscape, strange and poignant monuments of decay and decomposition. Everything is consuming and being consumed; everything grows, dies, and grows again. Each season comes and goes with its distinct colors, needs, and talents, each feeding the next. Like the iconic snake that eats its tail, the uroboros, spring eats winter, winter eats fall, fall eats summer, summer eats spring… Such is the life of a hellbender.
To everything, there is a season. And in this new clip from Hellbender, we see Izzy enter a new season of her life. But where will this season take her? And will she consume or become consumed herself? Hellbender releases on Shudder on February 24 to offer all the answers.