There were two movies released in 2015 with very similar names, one was called The Hallow and the other The Hollow. One movie was over shlocky completely saturated with unbelievable CGI and a horrendously incomprehensible plot, the other was an amazing English-Irish production about a family tormented by ecological monsters from ancient celtic lore seeking to ravage justice against interlopers.
The Hallow is the latter, Adam an English mycologist (fungi specialist) travels to an Irish province with his wife Clare and new-born baby Finn. In the movie Adam is hired by a logging company to study the forest trees and see if there are any fungal viruses or other type of diseases that may deem the forest unworthy for them to tear down.
Now in previous movies we normally see a conservationist who is sent out to study the forest for prevention of deforestation, I quite enjoyed the opposite effect where the protagonist works for a normally negatively seen company and in this movie at first you assume that the less than friendly reception Adam and his family receives from locals is due to his business interests and the company that hired him to survey the land.
As the movie moves on it is apparent that the townspeople have no care for the interests of Adam’s company but it is not caused by their overwhelming concern for global warming, they are interested in what Adam may rouse from the depths of the elder Irish forest.
He is warned that in lies “the hallows”, an old lore about primordial beings who derive in the woods, soon Adam and Clare find that they should have heeded the warning and left when they were given the chance.
The film creates a “home invasion” type atmosphere that turns into a chase into the interior of demented wood set to the backdrop of an isolated town ,with an unprepared English family attacked by elemental ecological goblins with no hope from neighbors who have turned their back on the tortured.
This film has a great combination of practical and computer effects set in an old Irish country side, it’s remarkable how at times the scenes feel as if they are portrayed in the greenish hills of Ireland and in an instant teleport the audience into crooked woods filled with monstrous harbingers.
Directed by Corin Hardy who is in pre-production to Direct The Conjuring 2 spin off: The Nun, this film landed his spot to Direct the reboot of The Crow- a Crow reboot sounds like blasphemy to me as well but with his color scale in this movie and the eerie setting in this movie I am considering giving it a chance.
Staring Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones, Merlin) as Adam and Bojana Novakovic (Drag Me To Hell, Devil), Hardy said he wrote the part of Adam specifically with Mawle in mind.
This movie has the inspiration and pace to entice die hard fans of The Thing and Alien with a semi-fantasy feel of Pan’s Labyrinth, you may seek to tread carefully next stroll in the woods, one may not know what could be found in the blacker parts of The Hallow. I give the movie 4 1/2 Claws