Sunday, September 18, 2016

Brief Thoughts - THE HALLOW (2015)

I may be a little late to the game with this one but I was quite impressed with THE HALLOW (2015). It's a very well made monster story set in dark, spooky woods of a superstitious, rural area of Ireland. A couple and their newborn child move into a cottage near the forest to facilitate the husband's job of marking trees to be removed for a planned construction project. The locals warn them about poking round certain sections of the woods but are reluctant to spell out exactly why. Soon enough clues are dropped by fearful town elders, gnarled figures are dimly seen at night and odd, creepy events begin to plague the family in their new home. All these warning signs are ignored or brushed aside until finally an all out, nighttime assault on the cottage begins and the couple realizes that they - and especially their baby - are in much more danger than they ever considered possible. 

This is an atmospheric, nerve-jangling tale that handles the set-up of its monster mythology just as well as it does its third act assault and siege. The film is very well directed with a small, talented cast doing a uniformly strong job of making the entire affair affecting and believable. Adding to the dark tone of the story are the creatures lurking in the woods. The monster designs are fantastic and the performers in the elaborate effects liquidly shuffle and slither behind trees and rocks making the quick glimpses we get of them even more disturbing. Even when we can finally get a lingering look at them later on they still seem otherworldly and alien.

I recommend this very highly. You don't see very many new monster films these days that aren't geared toward automatic self-parody and I'm heartened to see such a good one can still get made.  For the curious it's currently on NetFlix and would make a good choice for the coming Halloween season. 


Nick Rentz said...

I watched it on Netflix and didn't care for it. I thought it was plodding and poorly written. The cinematography was good though.

Rod Barnett said...

Oh, well- one man's plodding is another man's fascinating, I guess.