by Adam McCabe
Folks, I have a confession: I'm a huge fan of the found-footage genre. When most others can fire scathing eyeball-lazers at Grave Encounters or Paranormal Activity, I'm always the one who can find the redeeming qualities in even the most incomprehensible shakey-cam masquerade. Unfortunately, I just can't make an excuse for Hollow, a slow-burn trudge through an English urban myth that relies too heavily on the "Why? Because I fucking said so" factor.
Props to its uncanny ability to conjure memories of The Blair Witch Project, a time when found-footage really took time to help you give a damn about your cast
but you have to follow that up with a surrounding haunt that really chills the bones. Instead, we're left with a story about a haunted tree. Yep, a haunted tree that convinces people to hang themselves. Hm
I wonder what's going to happen to our doomed twenty-somethings? Actually, we're told at the very beginning of the movie, a worn out genre cliche that I wish would die a slow and painful death. Horror isn't Shakespeare people, and we don't need to see the ending in our prologue. Believe it or not, people actually LIKE to be surprised when watching films--I know, weird right?
In the end, Hollow absolutely ends up living up to its name. I still don't believe we've sucked the marrow from the found-footage genre--just look at films like Atrocious or the previously-mentioned Grave Encounters (both on Netflix) But I suppose that's the curse in doting on a genre that you can literally craft anywhere. It just needs to be in the right hands...and kept away from children.