Thursday, June 27, 2013

Film Review: Hollow (2011)

Hollow (Review)
United Kingdom/2011
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

Two couples - Scott and Emma, and James and Lynn - go on a small getaway at an old home of Emma's. As they vacation, they start exploring the area's folklore and the eerie legend surrounding a hollow tree; this tree is believed to have caused young couples to commit suicide...

These young couples have fun together, throughout. Telling stories of their pasts, teasing each other, and even doing some drugs to pass the time. Scott and Emma are engaged, while James still has feelings for Emma from what is presumably a past relationship. As they continue looking into the tree, odd occurrences plague their performances - from strange figures in the dark to odd screeching in the night. After an insane experience near the tree, they decide to leave, but an odd force draws one of them closer.

The story in this film, and it's found-footage style, is too familiar. Everything about this film screams cliché. For a horror film, this story fails to deliver the scares; there are a few loud-noise scares, but they are ineffective due to the lack of effective suspense and build-up, and they are few and far between anyway. The story drags on and on with a side story of relationship problems that fails due to the lack of character and connection. Also, the film seems to hate complete sentences as every sentence is cut by the editing that feels like it needs to jump to another scene every couple of seconds. ("What was th..." "I think it was the..." Please stop re..." "Ok, we need to sav..." etc.)

Basically, the editing is what you'd expect from a found-footage horror film. Also, the characters really overdo the scared-breathing/wheezing, it quickly gets annoying and repetitive. On top of that, they all seem to be very stupid, making choices that don't make any sense at all. And, in typical found-footage horror, you can't see what the characters claim to see, you just see darkness and hear screaming; without suspense or something to grasp (even if it's subtle), your imagination can't run wild. There are a few solid scenes, but only a few.

The bulk of the acting was okay. It was competent enough to get the job done. The breathing was too much at times and over-exaggerated, so there was some overacting, especially at the end. The editing is also annoying as it cuts many sentences and jumps from scene to scene too often; when it gets heated, it cuts to the aftermath; I suppose that is more of an issue for the writing and story, though.

Overall, Hollow is a hollow horror film; it's empty, a waste of time, a shell without terror in the inside. It's quite the bore, and it drags on and on. I do not recommend paying to purchase or rent Hollow, you should stream if you're still interested.

Score: 2/10
Parental Guide: Some violence, brief nudity.

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