The Hallow is a new horror by director Corin Hardy that is sure to have the audience jumping in their seats. Hardy’s new work relies on surprise and timing more than an insidious fear-inducing plot.
The film follows couple Adam (Joseph Mawle) and Claire (Bojana Novakovic) who have relocated to a remote and run-down house in the middle of an Irish forest. Tasked with marking trees for felling, Adam is not welcomed by the villagers, although we soon learn they are not the only ones trying to eject the couple from their new home. Monsters known as the Hallows are living in the forest, equipped with flesh hanging from their screeching mouths and black expansive goo bursting from their bodies that will seep into your eyes and transform you into one of them. From a director who began his career as a special effects monster-maker, it is not surprising that the costumes are so impressive and the execution less so.
The sound department, if a little over zealous at times, produces the demon scenes with the projected squelching of the demonic black mass, skin-scraping and bone-crunching much appreciated in any good horror movie.
Mawle and Novakovic are believable as the abandoned and bewildered couple fighting to survive, however the constant attack from their demonic neighbours means there is little chance for dialogue. The small interactions we glean are thanks to the consideration of the Hallows, who pause their pillaging and destruction to allow the couple to air their domestic dispute. Michael McElhatton is not the most convincing intimidating local, whilst Hardy and Fillipe Marino’s script does not allow for any real character development.
The Hallow feels like it is trying to do everything: are a house in uninhabited woods, black demonic goo seeping through the walls, demon possession and flaming scythe all necessary?
Despite some good foundations, the film lacks the plot necessary for that nail-biting, spine-tingling, peeping-through-the-fingers atmosphere any horror film hopes to achieve.
The Hallow is released nationwide on 13th November
Watch the trailer for The Hallow here: