The Hollow Child

Is The Hollow Child worth watching? Absolutely. This movie somehow swung under the radar with The Hollow Child Titlea rather low critic rating, but definitely makes for a tense and scary romp through the Irish/Scottish lore inspired woods. With strong atmospheric background, suspense used to some of it’s best, and a character that can be connected with so strongly so quickly, it would be a shame to miss out on this one. If only they could have steered clear of a cliche ending it would have been even better.

(5.8 / 10)

The Hollow Child is strongly influenced by Irish folklore, specifically The Daoine Sidhe or the fairy folk. Although these legends are much different than the ones 2018-06-10 (2)we are used to hearing, where the fairies like and love us. In reality they despise us, at least some do, for taking their land and the bringing of iron (or was it steel? I can’t remember). That theme is carried very strongly in The Hollow Child, as there is a large stand of woods, very old by the looks of it, where something dwells that has been luring in children for a long time.

Despite all that, this movie really comes down to the main character Sam (Jessica McLeod), who is an adopted child into a family which already has their own child. This2018-06-10 (1) already sets up a great deal of tension, as Sam is older than Olivia (Hannah Cheramy), and therefore already at a disadvantage with Liz (Jana Mitsoula) and Garrett (John Emmet Tracy), the parents. If you took out the horror/suspense element this easily could have been a drama about a troubled teenage girl and finding her place in the world, while overcoming a huge amount of baggage and struggles. As it stands, it is both of these things, suspense and drama.

The Hollow Child is an incredibly atmospheric slow burn that relies heavily on tension and drawn out suspense to keep the viewer on edge. It makes little use of jump scares, although there are a few in the beginning, the first of which I felt fell very flat. Although the initial scene will become important later on, these moments don’t really endear one to the movie, and could make some folks think it is an adequately done B-horror. The stylized theme is laid out from the onset and makes the movie feel creepy, and I really enjoyed that backdrop. The credits layout what we can expect for the rest of the movie which differs greatly from its first few moments.

The strongest aspect of this movie, aside from the tense theme, is the connection that one makes with Sam. As more and more of her life is laid out, in tiny morsels, we begin to understand her and the reason some of the more detailed aspects of her are shown to us. They may seem superfluous at first but they go a long way to building her character and making her someone we can connect with. Even if we don’t understand everything she’s been through we still feel compassion for her. This carries over well to the monster2018-06-10 (10) aspect of the movie, as we care less about what the creature will do to Sam, but what will become of Sam if she loses everything again. The other characters don’t really live up to the same standard with the exception of Emily (Genevieve Buechner), Sam’s childhood friend. Genevieve plays her well as a strong and fragile character, whom I would have liked to see get more screen time and in depth background as Sam did.

Occasionally I did find Sam’s character to be a bit under delivered, meaning Jessica plays her very well in some moments and then much weaker in others (weaker as in not believable or rough). Some of this is likely due to the dialogue itself as the movie does take some time to tread into horror movie tropes like the convenient person who knows exactly what’s happening, and the “surprise” ending. I honestly felt the ending was far too predictable to accurately wrap up what was an otherwise a well done film. many other characters were a bit too two dimensional, except of course for Olivia and Emily. The parents were just a little too contrived to be wholly believable, but effectively move Sam’s story along.

2018-06-10 (8)And speaking of Olivia, obviously the secondary central character, Hannah Cheramy does quite the amazing job of taking a tired cliche (evil child that looks innocent) and delivering a quite creepy performance. There are a couple of scenes that stand out, which looking back were rather trivial, but were still quite creepstix. She is convincing as an entity wearing a little girls face, and makes us believe that she is truly evil. Picking out the rock you want to kill someone with by skipping around and humming are so juxtaposed it becomes a scary watch, even for something that has become so tired over the last decade or so.

Is The Hollow Child worth watching? Absolutely. This movie somehow swung under the radar with a rather low critic rating, but definitely makes for a tense and scary romp through the Irish/Scottish lore inspired woods. With strong atmospheric background, suspense used to some of it’s best, and a character that can be connected with so strongly so quickly, it would be a shame to miss out on this one. If only they could have steered clear of a cliche ending it would have been even better.

Story: (5.5 / 10)
Characters: (6 / 10)
Elements: (6.8 / 10)
Ending: (5 / 10)

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