The Hollow (2015) - A fiery tree demon returns wanting to burn the life out of its victims. The result of a curse laid upon the island town by six witches burned by the townspeople, as they burned the brought a storm to the island. They vanished each struck by a bolt of lightning their spirits entering the storm and becoming the vengeful creature that would return 100 years later. The local legend that seemed just a myth is now hundred years later a very real threat. This precarious edifice of a plot dangles on the edge of collapse while the melodrama of the main characters wails it way towards the inevitable conclusion. Never a story about the growth of characters it is firmly placed in the realm of survival. It is a paper thin the story of the island where in 1915 they were burning girls for practicing witchcraft and that those girls were actually witches. Then that they could conjure a storm that could take their spirits and turn it into the creature that only appears every hundred years, is complicated by the story line of the main characters. Emma the youngest of three sisters traumatized by the death of her parents in a fiery car crash is having visions of island and the trouble to come.
Starting the story with the sisters Sarah (Stephanie Hunt), Marley (Sarah Dugdale) and Emma (Alisha Newton), down on their luck after the parents death and a long recovery by young Emma from the accident that killed her parents. They are heading to the island to live with their aunt that they hardly know in a very nice BMW X3, I guess they didn't think of selling the car to ease their financial burden. Sarah and Marley are adults but somehow the only way they can stay together is to travel to the Aunt? The money problems are the basis for tension between them, and the fact Emma wakes screaming from regular naps also raises tension. Add to that Emma wanders off every time her sisters turn there heads and you have a basis for some argumentative frantic searching that continues throughout the film.
Cliche rule the day in the lead up to the start trouble, running out of gas, getting lost and no phone reception. To hear Marley say "This is not happening." Then when they are scared and running from sounds coming from the forest Emma falls hurting her ankle. All the shouting begins when they get to Aunt Cora's house. She is dead in her jeep and there is another injured woman ready to give the audience a jump scare. There is this really strange in the editing where Marley and Emma head to the house while Sarah checks out her aunt and finds the injured woman. It's daylight and then there is a short cut showing the formation of the creature, then it cuts back to the house, it seems like it is night. For some really unknown reason Marley decides Emma should be in the cellar, and Sarah arrives at the door with the injured woman. It is night and the storm is waging, but the car is only 100 yards from the house, how did the day to night switch happen?
I struggled with the interpersonal dialog between the sisters as it seemed either the writing or the delivery somehow it just was not good. An example is after the strange shift to night and the group is in the cellar of aunt Cora's house, Marley stands to confront her sister. Emma apparently is sleeping again since her real role is to be someone the other two have to care and search for.
Marley: "It's time you tell me what happened to aunt Cora."
Sarah: "I'm not sure okay."
Marley: "Stop treating me like a child, tell me what happened."
Sarah: "I don't know what happened to her."
Marley: "I deserve to know Sarah."
Sarah: "Fine you want to know. her eyes were gone, just gone like someone cut themout of her head or something and then some sick twist set her insides on fire."
Marley: "What, (turns away) what."
Sarah: "Sorry I shouldn't have told you. Not like that."
There is something not really genuine between the two. It could be that the conflicts are setup and exercised but we really don't know much about them beside the conflict. Sarah had to quit medical school after her parents death but even the sharing of that was a bit awkward. Then there are the mechanics of the how we get to things and this I guess has to be put on the director. The next day the plan is to siphon gas from the jeep and take the beamer back to town, but not really. You see that they have armed Marley with a hatchet but Sarah obviously has never siphoned gas because the hose she has is way too long. Of course the plan never really was this in the directors head, he is using this idea to get to the conflict between the sisters and as soon as that piece of dialog is concluded we see that the BMW is gone from the road anyway. Then of course the hatchet comes in handy when the attacks of the vines starts. Even sister Emma seems to be just a tool to make the plot move at time serving no other purpose than to vanish and be searched for.
I would introduce the other players in the film but we can tell that the are just pieces to get the girls to the finally. None of them have a good chance to survive and in the end this is only a fight for the sisters. Clumsy is how I would put it, blogger Seth is only in the film to tell the story of the witches and he with other survivors are really only there to point the two sisters in the direction of Emma. Once that location is know they are killed off in short order. Sarah and Marley head to where they think the creature is taking the people it is not killing immediately and old power plant. They even though they know that the fucking creature is hunting through sound shout all the time. It is just so frustrating to watch. Even after they find Jill buried under the roots of one of the witch trees Sarah searches yelling Emma's name. Shut the fuck up!
Increasing my absolute frustration with this film is the ridiculous last sequence in the power plant where the women find a seal-able place to hide until morning but do not take it. Instead they are chased and wounded all the while fighting off the monster. Even after one of the sisters sacrifices herself sealing the creature in with her, another of them releases the creature so she can check to see if her sister is dead. Thus more running and danger that did not have to happen. When the sun finally rises we see who lives and know that if this film does well we will have to suffer the Hollow 2 prequel that will be made and hoisted upon us.
As I have done so far this year; I am doing as an experiment my Twitter
account @Soresport is dedicated to following and being followed by
people in and behind the scenes. Then I am also hoping some of them
follow me back. I do fear that Twitter has become too much of a
promotional tool for people in film to actually get those follow backs
but hey its an experiment.