Unlike many other found footage movies of recent years, this one shows events that take place in the English countryside. Sadly, much like many other found footage movies of recent years, it’s also pretty bloody awful.
I wanted to like it, I really did, and I was willing it to impress me but it seems that my will was not strong enough. That’ll teach me for no longer practicing Jedi mind tricks every day.
Anyway, the plot concerns four people who are going for a trip to the countryside in East Anglia. Because that’s always a prime destination for those wanting a relaxing break in beautiful surroundings (sorry, the sarcasm just slipped out – I spent far too much time there some years ago and can tell you now that it’s flat and not really that scenic). Anyway, these two couples have the usual mix of relationship problems and personality flaws and none of these things prove helpful when they start to investigate the local legend of an evil tree. Yes, an evil tree.
Okay, that’s a bit unfair because there’s more to it than that but Hollow just drained all of the goodwill from me by the time the end credits rolled. The sad thing is that it started quite well. The first half hour has some nice, atmospheric moments as details of the local legend are discovered. Then there’s another scary loud noise with some shaky-cam. Then another. Then another. And so on and so forth.
Emily Plumtree, Sam Stockman, Matt Stokoe and Jessica Ellerby play the different members of the central quartet and, well, I am choosing to politely not say any more about them in this review. I took a dislike to each and every one of them but there’s every chance that I feel that way because of the poor script by Matthew Holt and lazy direction by Michael Axelgaard.
Most viewers will want to give up on the whole thing by the halfway point, by which time there are already enough bad/stupid character decisions to drag the whole thing down and the repeated jump scares have long outstayed their welcome. Stay to the end, however, and you will find that everything somehow manages to keep getting worse and worse. There are moments when, quite frankly, it’s embarrassing to watch.
Everyone involved can, and must, do better than this. For those who want to keep pointing at found footage movies as lazy and boring movies full of too much shaky-cam – this is your new Exhibit A.
Hollow is available to buy on shiny disc from January 28th but I would advise anyone curious about it to either rent it first or seek it out when it gets to a knock-down, bargain price.
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL AXELGAARD
WRITER: MATTHEW HOLT
STARS: EMILY PLUMTREE, SAM STOCKMAN, MATT STOKOE, JESSICA ELLERBY, SIMON ROBERTS
RUNTIME: 91 MINS APPROX