The Hallow (2015) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Corin Hardy
Producers: Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino
Screenwriters: Corin Hardy Felipe Marino
Date Released: November 5, 2015
Joseph Mawle as Adam Hitchens
Bojana Novakovic as Claire Hitchens
Michael McElhatton as Colm Donnelly
Michael Smiley as Garda Davey
Rating = 3 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The film is about a family of three who have moved from London to rural Ireland, where conservationist Adam Hitchens (Joseph Mawle) has been charged with studying the nearby forests. With his newborn infant sometimes in tow, he prowls through the woods with his dog, leaving his dutiful wife Clare (Bojana Novakovic) at home to deal with the constant harassment of Colm (Michael McElhatton), a surly neighbor who has warned Adam about trespassing on his land. As Adam constantly dismisses the warnings, Colm’s advances become more ominous: not only should they stay off of his land, he warns, but they should also pack up and leave immediately to escape the horrible creatures that lurk nearby, waiting to prey on unsuspecting families. Naturally, Adam is stubborn, but only because he’s discovered a curious microbe that’s unlike anything he’s ever discovered before. Little does he know what nightmare are waiting for him.
The Hallow (2015) incorporates a descent amount of blood and gore using both CGI and special effects work as well as animatronics. The nature of the monsters (the changeling) has a creepy look to it and was well produced back with a dark atmosphere to add to it’s ultimate impact on the viewer. As such, the gore in this was was tactfully done.
The Grave Review
The Hallow (2015) did a good job at creating a well-thought out film. The story, as a general matter, felt complete from start to finish. In addition, the film incorporated special effects very well. However, much of the CGI work took away from the eeriness of the film.
As far as performance, the actors and actresses performed respectfully within their roles. The anticipation of the scares not only came from the antagonists, but also from the shear expressions of the actors or actresses face.
There’s a certain “us against them” theme that services the narrative quite well, and it’s not limited to the unfriendly people our protagonists encounter. The big, beautiful house they call home is the creakiest building imaginable. Even before venturing outside it, there’s a creepiness to their surroundings. The woods themselves are gloriously dense and maze-like, stretching out as far as the eye can see and positively dripping with history and lore. It has an amazing setting by any standards.
The film sustains the suspense and keeps the audience on edge from the moment Adam steps into the forest and has his newborn baby vulnerable in a pouch strapped to his back, adding a heartbreaking human dimension that supplements the impressive creature work. Even when their small baby predictably becomes a centerpiece of the terror, it’s a natural extension of the fairy tale unfolding around the characters. Putting a baby in peril almost feels like it should be a shortcut to generate some cheap unease for the audience, but this is the crux of The Hallow, a film that pushes two parents to horrifying extremes.
The Hallow (2015) thrives on a burst of energy, it lingers after it’s finished, especially since its final couple of shots hint that the horror isn’t truly over. Even these almost mandatory tags are carefully crafted for maximum skin-crawling effect, particularly a haunting bit that stretches into the credits and allows the film to burrow itself into your mind just a bit further. From its richly photographed locales to its distinctly designed creatures, Hardy’s film leaves quite an impression.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Hallow (2015) three graves out of five graves.
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