Monday, June 24, 2013

Hollow Movie Review – Beware of Trees

Runtime: 91 minutes
Release Date: 2012
Rating: R
Director: Michael Axelgaard

You know those movies that make you want to never travel again? Well, "Hollow" probably isn't one of those films but it does have its entertaining moments.

"Hollow" is a found footage film that follows two couples on a weekend vacation. After Emma's grandfather dies, she asks her fiance Scott, her close friend James, and his girlfriend Lynn to go with her to his former home to clean things up and get the house ready to sell. Along the way, they pass by a huge old tree, which Emma vaguely remembers hearing stories about.

As they start exploring the ruins of an old monastery that surrounds the tree, she begins remembering some of the stories. It turns out that a large number of people killed themselves at that very tree, but some of the locals think that there's something more to the story. Of course there really is more to the story, which Emma learns while going through her grandfather's papers. When the four find themselves lost in the dark ruins, they quickly learn that some of the stories might be right.

"Hollow" is the type of film that irritates me because when it's good, it's damn good, but when it's bad, I wanted to reach for the remote and turn the damn thing off. Maybe it's the actors, but I think it's more of the story. Naturally, James must have long unresolved feelings for Emma, and naturally, Lynn should throw herself at Scott multiple times. It just left me wondering why these four would even spend any time together. If you knew your best friend was in love with you, would you really invite him to spend the weekend with you and the man you're about to marry?

It doesn't help that the found footage genre is a little overplayed at this point. There are only so many times that you can see people screaming at the camera and running away without actually seeing anything before you want to scream. Oh, did you think that this film would have some great horror scenes? Think again.

A lot of good horror films use elements that let you use your imagination, but what makes those films so good is that the directors also show you enough that you can imagine what might happen. "Hollow" pretty much just gives us a story and expects us to decide what's happening. We might see a character walking through the ruins and look over his shoulder before he screams and runs away. By the time it finally ended, I was just ready to move on to the next film.

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