Horror Movie Review: Hollow (2011)


Is there anything more likely to strike fear into the heart of any horror movie fan then the words ‘found-footage British horror’…oh, the humanity.

If you are a regular reader of my horror reviews then you will know I’m not big into ‘found footage’ movies. Simply put…getting motion sickness from the shaky camera & spending most of the movie peering into the darkness of your TV wondering what the hell is going on is not my idea of fun. Oh look…you made me jump ‘cause I was so focused on the screen hoping to see something. Well done you…

Almost all ‘found-footage movies do this now so does Hollow buck the trend & actually manage to be scary? Find out soon!

Actually, screw that…it doesn’t. This movie is 30% of what the hell is going on, is my TV broke? thoughts.

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It is so frustrating because Hollow has a really interesting & spooky premise. 4 friends in 2 equally complicated & questionable relationships (isn’t it always?) are having a re-connecting trip to the English countryside. On their journey they accidently kill a fox & end up stopping near a huge ominous looking tree that one of the women remember from their childhoods & a story told by her mother. The cottage, nearby that they are staying at is her families & later she recants the tale to her friends.

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The tree is a popular suicide plot for young couples dating back hundreds of years, they hang themselves from its branches & the local clergy as well as her family appear to be covering something up.

Cool huh? Spooky idea, right? I was into it as well at this stage.

Anyway all is not right with the 4-some & it turns out there are ‘feelings’ where there shouldn’t be between some of the group. Tensions run high, drugs & alcohol are downed & a late night visit to the tree adds some night time footage for us to enjoy.

Things go from bad to worse amongst the couples & friends & by time they reach the final day of their break they are all ready to go their separate ways. The final 20 minutes of the movie involve interior shots of cars, lots of screaming & heavy breathing & the only moments of actual horror & scares in the movie.

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In 90 minutes of the movie there are only 2 moments that actually managed to creep me out & made me jump a little. That is it…they were clearly going for a Blair Witch thing but unlike that movie they fail to add any kind of tension. The problem is that there isn’t a clear indication of what exactly is going on. I mean is it some sort of demon-thing? A possession thing? Ghosts? The tree coming alive & doing stuff? Even by the final scene I had no clue what exactly was going on.

Maybe it was supposed to be a ‘make up your own mind’ kind of thing but for that to work the potential resolutions has to be satisfying or make sense. It is incredibly disappointing as the movie really had some good ideas, it’s well acted & the camera during the day bits are perfectly fine.

However one of the biggest failings in this movie is one that often plagues ‘found-footage’ movies. Filming when there is no good reason to…sure they try to explain it away such as one scene involving one character telling another that they can only be friends even though he is nuts about her. She questions why he is filming their private chat & is told that he wants to keep a record…she is fine with this! What the hell!?

It’s nonsense…

I can’t help but think this would have been such a better movie had it not been using the ‘found footage’ style. I think it could have been pretty scary & there is genuine interest (I think) in some old British legends.

Pity….

A really missed opportunity that falls foul of all the usual issues I find in ‘found footage’ movies. It is getting so bad that I’m really going to re-consider watching these kinds of movies. A great idea with a really rich back-story that is dropped for some lame feuding lovers shtick & an extremely confusing ending.

Hollow
  • 3/10
    The Final Score - 3/10
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