by Shannon McGrew
Once in a blue moon, a horror movie comes along and blows all the other competition out of the water. To me, that movie was "The Hallow" by director Corin Hardy. Not many movies can terrify me to the point of not wanting to move but this film certainly rose to the occasion. "The Hallow" tells the story of a family who move to a remote home in Ireland due to the husbands conservationist work. Ignoring the warnings of the local people, the family encounter demonic creatures who call the forest their own.
There are many reasons why this movie is incredible but I will pick my top three. First and foremost, the acting was stupendous. The screen time is hugely devoted to the husband, Adam Hitchens (Joseph Mawle), the wife, Clare Hitchens (Bojana Novakovic), and their 5 month old baby (played by twin boys). To work around a baby's schedule seems tough if you were just a parent, but to be directing a full feature film and relying on the baby to "act" at the appropriate times seems almost impossible. However it was accomplished greatly for this film. Corin Hardy was present at the screening I went to and he said that in order to get everything they needed from the baby they had to also make an animatronic baby as well as a "stunt" baby.
The second thing that I love about this movie is it doesn't have to rely on gore or jump scares to be scary. It relied on building the tension and giving the audience a truly scary and creepy atmosphere to work with. Of course there were moments where there was some blood as well as quick scares but the film was smart enough to not make that the focus of what was going on. It focused on getting you invested into the characters and keeping you on your toes as you figured out what was happening within the forest.
Lastly, the main thing that impressed me with this movie was the use of practical affects. In this day and age we are so used to seeing CGI in everything and it's a real treat when a filmmaker uses practical affects over CGI. It's also an amazing feat when the demonic creatures are revealed in the movie and you find out that those are people in amazing costumes and makeup bending in unnatural ways and making some incredibly horrific sounds! It makes me so happy to see that there has been a resurgence of the use of practical affects. I hope more directors will take note of some of the amazing things that can be done without the use of CGI.
Overall, "The Hallows" is a real treat and one that you should go and see. It truly has some terrifying moments and you really do feel for all the characters that are involved. If you like horror tales that take from Irish lore and superstition as well as movies that can fill a room with dread and tension then I highly suggest you go and see "The Hallows" when it comes out on Friday, November 13th