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Corin Hardy’s THE HALLOW (WATCH IT HERE) has somewhat become of a bit of Film Festival darling by now, one that wound up nabbing the lad the coveted chair behind the impending THE CROW reboot. Alas the latter has been caught in development hell for a while now, time will tell how that one goes. Until then though we have Hardy’s THE HALLOW to dig into; a horror film that was inspired by creatures straight out of Irish folklore, namely fairies, on that, these savage mofos had little in common with Tinkerbelle and the likes that’s for sure!
THE HALLOW played its game smartly; slowly building and building, hinting and hinting, letting its set-up and sense of dread slither under my skin, until it let her rip and took me on a badass creature feature ride. For the first two acts, the flick oozed of tension and Hardy did wonders with his horror set pieces. The first scene that saw the monsters kick into high gear had me by the boulders and them some! Talk about chilling stuff! I loved the mood of the piece as well. The whole was dark, damp and oppressive. I won’t lie this did cross my mind: “Who the bleep would move into a place like this with his wife and baby?” But hey it was in the name of “science” and it’s a horror film i.e. you gotta let “some” shit go... for me... that was one of them.
The cast on hand was rocking like Dokken too! This one was pretty much a three-person show not including the varied beasties at work. Joseph Mawle hit of all the varied emotional notes he had to reach as the protective father who has to fight outside foes and himself, DEVIL star Bojana Novakovic gave a grounded, vulnerable yet strong display. Her role wasn’t much on paper, but she elevated it via her talent, charisma and looks! On his end Michael McElhatton was captivating as the “Is he friend or foe?” neighbor. Add to all that loving some brilliant and ambitious creatures (communicated by way of men in suits, puppets, animatronics and CGI), some genuine scares and sleek camera work (Hardy and DP Martijn Van Broekhuizen were on fire here) and you get a potent little horror gem!
Unfortunately, taking into account it subject matter (fairies and such) I expected a bit more “wow” to go along with the horror. For example; the flick offered a scientific theory for its folkloric beasties and I can’t say that I was crazy about it. But that’s just me! Moreover, the film had a tad too many known genre tropes on hand (no box went unchecked) and was also too busy for its own good i.e. trying to be too many movies all at once. I personally could have gone without its “THE FLY – BODY SNATCHER” like element it eventually pimped out as I was really enjoying the “other” film this one was being. Last but not least; a couple of dumb characters moves surfaced. A severe one popped out at me during the last act which kind put a damper on things...
All in all though, I had a groovy sit down with THE HALLOW. Sure the story could have been more original, but hat didn’t change the fact that it was a well-paced, visually arresting and intense monster mash!