Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm back with another Halloween treat that's just ripe for the picking… or too ripe that you'll wind up tossing in the junk pile. For my next film, Hollow DVD, we dip into the "found footage" genre, but given the length of what you have to sit through, some might pass on this journey. Maybe. Spoilers ahead.
"Hollow" centers on two couples – Scott (Matt Stokoe), James (Sam Stockman), Lynne (Jessica Ellerby) and Emma (Emily Plumtree), who are off on holiday, out on the British countryside. And like most found footage films, they have to video document EVERYTHING they do from the moment they set off, when they arrive, cooking dinner, hanging out in the living room, playing games and getting into all sorts of shenanigans. But the real focus of the film is a large, hollowed out tree located not far from where they're staying and they come across it on their journey; the tree is said to be cursed by a hooded figure and couples have been known to have committed suicide from the tree branches. So in the midst of all the fun, they also explore the lore of the tree and try to figure out its curse. But whatever curse this tree has, starts to take hold of the group and soon friends become lovers and former friends become spiteful enemies; I believe it was Scott who said at one point that "Everything has changed between us" (paraphrasing) and by the end of the film, they'll come face to face with the evil that has haunted them since their arrival.
Considering there won't be a Paranormal Activity this year (and I'm surprised another one was even considered), fans who are looking for reality scares might jump at the chance to see Hollow; and given the trailer (which can be found on the side bar), why wouldn't you. I mean it looks creepy enough right?
I'd say it's creepy with a "but". Hollow does a great job creating an ominous, creepy atmosphere; just from the locale alone, you automatically get that spooky vibe and the super dark night times makes things even more eerie. What I like most about the film is that the camera is not as shaky and out of focus as most films of this type, that way you can be more observant to what's going on and easily follow the main story without feeling ill to your stomach. And yet there are some shaky cam moments that does help to increase tension. There are also plenty of jump scares, especially towards the end – some more obvious than others; not too much that it becomes gimmicky yet just enough to keep your attentions. The acting is pretty good and I think performances all around are pretty solid; given the acting, situations just feels real without anyone hamming it up too much. Sizzlin hottie goes out to Jessica Ellerby, whom we get two scenes of her… ahem… good parts. Simply gorgeous. In the end, Hollow does a great job of setting the mood just right for some scares, but what really holds the film from being as awesome as say Evidence?
It's the fact that it's just too damn long. Hollow is 90 plus minutes with a huge chunk of that of not much really going on. I think the film could have been so much better had it been 15 - 20 minutes shorter. The film could have also upped the tension by showing the strange, hooded figure a few times earlier on rather than waste it towards the end, even if shown only briefly. There were times when the actors would see "something" and I end up rewinding just to see if I can see it, but in the end I don't see anything.
That sacrificial fox. Daaaaaaaam!
Hollow is available now, and if you're looking to set the mood for some serious scares this Halloween, then kickstart your rotation with this film. While the length might turn some folk away, I say stick it out if you can, because the scares, the tensions, and the overall creepiness may be most rewarding. And out of TOV 5 stars, Hollow gets the spooktacular score 3.