Review: Hollow / Cert: 15 / Director: Michael Axelgaard / Screenplay: Matthew Holt / Starring: Emily Plumtree, Sam Stockman, Matt Stockoe / Release Date: January 28th
Hollow is a thoroughly British horror film. A small band of young people go out into the wilds of Suffolk to have a good time in an old, abandoned monastery. They quickly learn that the local tree is a notorious spot for suicides and has an unpleasant, ghost-related history. And you can bet it rains too.
This is Michael Axelgaard’s first time out as a director, and he uses the found footage format, which has been a mixed blessing for many a debut horror movie maker. On the one hand, it allows for a more basic approach to filming, but it can also hamper the flow of the story and its documentary nature severely limits the plot. Hollow gets past these limitations through some fairly clever scripting and by focusing heavily on interpersonal relationships. Trouble is, this throws up another issue. In short; it's not that interesting.
The acting is good, especially for a small indie horror, but the characterisation is problematic. The protagonists are very realistic and believable, but also a little dull. What works in a real world conversation can be less than gripping when committed to film, and though Hollow doesn’t quite get utterly boring, it doesn’t go out of its way to excite you either. As a result, though the story spends a lot of time allowing the viewer to become familiar with the cast, they all remain slightly unlikeable. Not enough for you to wish them a sticky end, but almost.
Fans of British ghost stories and found footage movies will find this a nice way to pass the time. However, if you’re a gorehound looking for plenty of chills, you will be disappointed. Hollow is a haunting, slow-burn movie that is slightly above average. As low-budget, first time features go, it’s okay, but we do hope that the next movie they produce is more engaging.