Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Hallow (2015)

Number Rolled: 71
Movie Name/Year: The Hallow (2015)
Tagline: Nature has a dark side.
Genre: Horror
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Occupant Entertainment, Hyperion Media Group, Prescience, Altus Media (Five), The Electric Shadow Company, Bord Scannan ne hEireann / Irish Film Board, Fantastic Films, Altitude Film Entertainment, Hallow Film
Producer: John Brady, Jules Claassen, Will Clarke, Cathleen Dore, Rory Gilmartin, John Jencks, Deirdre Levins, Michael J. Mailis, Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell, Joe Neurauter, Kate Sharp, James Swarbrick, Jay Taylor, Susan Wrubel
Director: Corin Hardy
Writer: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino, Tom de Ville
Actors: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley, Gary Lydon, Wren Hardy, Stuart Graham, Conor Craig Stephens, Joss Wyre, Charlotte Williams, Luc Walsh

Blurb from Netflix: When a London man moves his family into a secluded mill house, he discovers that the surrounding forest is filled with demons who prey on children.

Selina’s Point of View:
The Hallow was absolutely incredible and I can never, ever, watch it again.

I was so totally creeped out by this film that there were a couple of scenes I simply couldn’t watch. At all. I had to look away from the screen completely and wait for some kind of cue that said the story had moved on to another scene. There were moments of gut-wrenching anticipation, triggers… I just… I can never watch this film again.

Although this film is not torture porn-esk, it’s still very much not for the squeamish. Keep that in mind if you intend to watch.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was really excited when this movie came up. I’ve mentioned before my love for all things Irish, yes? I probably have about 3 anthology books of Irish ghost stories. This movie was filmed and based in Ireland and draws partially on Irish folktales. Talk about a win-win, right?

I can assure you that while I do have a bias in favor of Ireland, I still managed to watch this movie with an open mind.

It’s said that the director, Corin Hardy (Strangers, In the Back, Watchtower), applied the influences of Alien (1979), The Evil Dead (1981), and The Thing (1982) paired with the draw from Irish folktales. These influences are definitely apparent throughout the movie - from ambiance to effects.

This film was a creature feature without a whole lot of bells and whistles. I think the heavy use of practical physical effects over computer graphics served this movie well. There were definite bits of CGI here and there, but it didn’t look hokey.

Some of the creature work bothered me but it really was pretty good overall. I think it was because I could clearly tell that there was a person inside a costume instead of a seamless monster performance. This held me back from getting entirely invested in those scenes.

Honestly, I was more unnerved when you couldn’t see the source of what was going on. There’s a lot to be said for the human imagination building an unseen boogeyman in the mind’s eye rather than actually laying eyes on the manifested form.

This appears to be this writer/director’s first full length feature film, so there were definitely lessons that could be taken from this movie into his next. Although, it’s said that Hardy has been tapped to direct the upcoming reboot of The Crow (1994).

I’m a bit skeptical of that entire endeavor. Some things just shouldn’t be messed with. I’ll chalk that up to a big ‘we’ll see.’

I digress.

Here’s another tidbit for you. This isn’t the first time that Michael McElhatton (Parked, Norm of the North, Strike Back) and Joseph Mawle (The Awakening, Shell, Kill Your Friends) have shared the screen. They’ve also been major characters in Game of Thrones (2011-). McElhatton played Roose Bolton on the well-known HBO series, and Mawle portrays the part of Benjen Stark. It’s said that Hardy wrote the lead character part for Mawle after seeing him on the series.

I like that this story delves into the darker side of Irish lore – where things aren’t cute or pretty. Pixies and leprechauns and fairies, oh my! When one thinks of the ‘fair folk,’ images of adorable little smiling faces on tiny creatures with wings or clutching treasure come to mind. The elfin-like sidhe and the Tuatha that live in Tír Na nÓg (the land of eternal youth and beauty) are also popular to envision. There are, however, many things that are not cute, cuddly, friendly, or in any way pleasant.

I am not sure that I’d watch this one again, but I enjoyed most of it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

The Random Rating: R

P.S. Scenes during the start of the credits that lead to a mid-credit scene.

Movie Trailer:

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