Director – Karl Pfeiffer (Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy)
Starring – Dana Matthews (Paranormal Lockdown, Finding Bigfoot), Greg Newkirk (Beyond the Unknown, Kindred Spirits), Karl Pfeiffer, and Connor Randall (Ghost Adventures)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
I’ve lived in the mountain state my whole life and over the years I’ve heard a great deal about the state’s supernatural and paranormal history. When I was in the fourth grade I would often pillage my school library for books on Appalachian folklore, urban legends, and ghost stories. I was within a relatively close distance to the Kentucky line so I heard a few of their legends as well. One in particular, the Kentucky goblins, was one that always stood out to me. Funny how a story I liked as a child would come back 20 some plus years later.
A little over a week ago I was at the Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant selling movies at the Wild Eye Releasing table and across from me was the folks from Planet Weird. The paranormal investigators were there selling the first season of their documentary series Hellier which is based on a town in Kentucky. I heard them tell potential buyers about the documentary and how it came to be. After hearing them for a few hours I decided I needed a copy and picked one up. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it.
**Spoiler Alert**The series follows paranormal investigators Dana and Greg who have studied the paranormal for many years when they recieved a strange email from a man in Hellier, Kentucky. The man claimed that his family was being terrorized by small creatures that may be coming from an abandoned mine shaft on the edge of his property. They are skeptical at first but after numerous emails and photos they decide to check it out. Communication between the mysterious man stops responding before they can get an address so they cold canvas the area in hopes of finding him. Their efforts turn up short and they suspect that it was a prank. A few years later they return and this time they take paranormal investigators Connor Randall and Karl Pfeiffer with them to better document the endeavor and what they uncover is a land overflowing with tales of paranormal and extraterrestrial stories but not enough leads for them to continue searching for the man plagued by small creatures.**Spoiler Alert**
I didn’t know what to expect from Hellier when I tossed it in but I quickly became enthralled with it. I honestly couldn’t stop watching it and I have to say that it was easily one of the more enjoyable binge watches. The series as a whole was very entertaining but I did find it to be a bit too long.
The interviews and baseline for the film is very intriging. A series of mysterious emails go out with a very apparent alias before the pair venture deep into banjo country looking for signs of cryptids or the paranormal only to uncover other tales from the locals that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I enjoyed everything these interviews and footage brought to the table. It was some very compelling stuff that had me glued to the screen.
My biggest complaint is that the series is just too long for what it is. Some of the scenes was just footage of them setting around waiting for something to happen. This would work if the run time was around a feature length film but for almost 6 hours this was a huge waste of time. The scenes with the spirit box were very boring and could have trimmed down a lot to make the series a lot more fluid.
Finally, this documentary series is edited together nicely. Most documentaries centered around paranormal or cryptids tends to be a little clunky and irrational at times but Hellier was very smooth going from topic to topic. The chronological order also helps the viewer digest everything coming at them. Overall, Hellier Season One was fascinating and haunting. It did run a lot longer than it had to but it still entertains. You can check it out now on the Planet Weird YouTube channel.