THE HOLLOW CHILD

PrintE-mail Written by John Higgins

Canadian horror has a solid legacy on many levels. With the likes of Peter Medak’s The Changeling (1980) (starring George C. Scott) and George Mihalka’s My Bloody Valentine (1981), as well as the late Bob Clark’s Black Christmas and Deranged (both 1974) and of course David Cronenberg’s work from the early 1970s onwards with the likes of Shivers (They Came From Within) (1975) and Rabid (1977), it may not have the backing and budget as it’s Southern neighbours, but it does provide some memorable moments.

David Cronenberg is one of the few directors from outside the Hollywood circle who managed to maintain some consistency in his work, working primarily in Toronto, but managed to direct one of the very best King adaptations, The Dead Zone (1984)

The Hollow Child, Broken Mirror Films new 2017 release, is a film tending to be more entrenched in the tradition of the George C. Scott classic - with solid cinematography and structure and some great performances from the young leads.

Jessica McLeod is Samantha, a foster teen with a propensity for self-harm, who has been taken in by a family with a young daughter, Olivia (Hannah Cheramy). The woods surrounding the family household hold their own fair share of mystery, heightened by the disappearance thirty years earlier of another girl and it is into this haven that Olivia disappears one night. Samantha is blamed for the disappearance for not looking out for her, but a few days later, Olivia returns. However, it is clear to Samantha that Olivia is not what she seems….

There is some predictability about how this one is going to go, but The Hollow Child does at least try to set out its stall from the git-go. Director Jeremy Lutter keeps the film moving along and there isn’t any visual or creative compromise to try and make the film look like one of its Hollywood counterparts.

Audiences might feel that The Hollow Child does play out like one of Stephen King’s short stories, yet it does keep the interest on the screen. The performances of the cast fit in nicely with the developments, particularly McLeod who holds the film together. Cheramy reminds one of a young Abigail Breslin a la Little Miss Sunshine and she playfully teases McLeod as the film develops. The adult performances of the parents, Garrett and Liz (John Emmet Tracy and Jana Mitsoula) are also a plus overall.

Whilst it may not be destined to set the box-office alight – and will probably find its place on streaming and cable channels, The Hollow Child is a passably diverting supernatural thriller and a film with talent to watch out for in the future.

THE HOLLOW CHILD / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JEREMY LUTTER / SCREENPLAY: BEN ROLLO / STARRING: JESSICA MCLEOD, HANNAH CHERAMY, JOHN EMMET TRACY, JANA MITSOULA / RELEASE DATE: UK RELEASE DATE TBA



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