Director: Corin Hardy
Starring: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic & Michael McElhatton
Synopsis: A family who moved into a remote mill house in Ireland find themselves in a fight for survival with demonic creatures living in the woods
Rating: 15 Run time: 97 minutes Release date: 13 November (UK)
If you mixed Evil Dead, John Carpenter’s The Thing and Pan’s Labyrinth you would likely end up with a film resembling The Hallow. Director Corin Hardy’s first feature length film is a mix of popular horror films, mostly from the 70’s and 80’s with a dash of Irish folklore added for good measure. The result is an interesting, if not wholly satisfying horror that bodes well for the first time director’s future.
Adam and Clare Hitchins (Joseph Mawle & Bojana Novakovic) have moved from London to Ireland with their new born son, and embark on a new rural life that involves the company that Adam works for cutting down a large part of the local countryside. This does not sit well with many of the locals, who send some very sinister warnings the way of the Hitchins family. Being city folk, they largely ignore what has been said as nothing more than idle threats, but events soon become much more menacing for the newly arrived family.
The Hallow is a film full of contrivances and clichés and can’t help but be pulled down by certain elements of the horror genre. There’s a cabin in the woods, a young couple out of their depth, some rather gruesome body horror and a few knowing winks from the director to a genre that he is clearly a fan of. Therefore, The Hallow is far from original, and barely has a new idea to its name, but it is still a very effective creature feature nonetheless.
While The Hallow does threaten to get bogged down by certain elements that will be all too familiar to horror fans, it does admittedly, do some things very well. The film keeps a tight pace, while the early scares are very well done and the first two thirds are the films best. The unknown plays a large part in unsettling the audience and has a big part to play in keeping the audience interested.
Where The Hallow falls a little flat is in its final third and in creating any real sense of terror. Yes the danger is present, but we never really feel connected enough to the characters in order to fear for what actually happens to them, which means The Hallow isn’t quite as compelling as one would hope. It’s very well acted, and the use of Irish fairy tales is a nice twist on the modern film monster, and it is indeed very creepy, but there was perhaps more to be had here.