Hollow Movie Review
Written by Simon Bland
DVD released by Metrodome Distribution
Directed by Michael Axelgaard
Written by Matthew Holt
2011, 91 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 28th January 2013
Emily Plumtree as Emma
Sam Stockman as James
Matt Stokoe as Scott
Jessica Ellerby as Lynne
Simon Roberts as Vicar
Two spritely young couples venture deep into the countryside for a weekend of drink, drugs and pre-marital love. What could possibly go wrong? If you guessed ‘absolutely bloody everything’ then congratulations, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This British horror from first time director Michael Axelgaard is a cocktail of unrequited love and occult fascination presented as leaked police evidence. From the get-go we know that something dead weird has happened to this fresh faced foursome and things haven’t ended well. But what went wrong? Time to rewind.
Meet Emma, a twentysomething who’s invited her finacé Scott, childhood friend James and his girlfriend Lynne down to her late grandad’s cottage for an impromptu rural holiday. On arrival we learn that this isolated spot has a dark past that it’s desperately trying to keep hidden. The focal point of this Country File creepiness is a gnarled old hollow tree that has a history of attracting doomed couples. If The Lion King’s Tree of Life had an evil twin, this would undoubtedly be it.
Bad plants aside, it quickly becomes apparent that this foursome has a history. Emma may be engaged to Scott, but childhood friend James clearly still fancies her, neglecting poor old Lynne for the majority of their getaway. His ill-placed obsession soon reaches boiling point and what starts as a night of drug sniffing fun spirals into a sinister race for survival as the cursed countryside comes at them. As the group tries to survive the experience, the lines of reality blur leaving them at the whims of a jilted lover and the supernatural. Not the best combo ever.
Writer Matthew Holt whips up an intriguing story that works with the found-footage genre but might have been more refreshing envisioned as a straightforward narrative. While he provides a believable excuse for the constant filming (want light? Better hit record!) the medium that’s so assessable for skint filmmakers is starting to look a little old hat. Director Michael Axelgaard does a good job of utilising the otherworldly (and free) natural oddities to maximum effect but does little to push this tried and tested formula to new and exciting places. Thankfully his solid cast somewhat makes up for it. Watching them run around in the dark is creepy in and of itself however Axelgaard still relies on loud noises and jolty handheld shots to deliver most of his questionable scares. It’s a technique that makes Hollow quite an apt name for his horror.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.