TADFF 15′ Review: The Hollow One

[Warning: this review goes into some minor spoiler territory.]

The Hollow One is the directorial debut of Nathan Hendrickson, who has made a successful career for himself in the world of game directing, having been behind the cinematics of triple-A titles such as Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the Condemned series, and F.E.A.R. With some of those credits, one would imagine that Hendrickson would have a pretty strong grasp on what makes for some quality horror…

Well let me tell you, he really doesn’t.

The film stars Kate Alden who plays Rachel, a bubbly girl raised in a backwater town with her idyllic family and boyfriend. But things take a sudden turn when her father decides to investigate her mother’s mysterious background, and in doing so finds an unusual device that was found by her archaeologist parents. After some ill-advised experimentation, the object summons a demonic being that unleashes hell on the sleepy community, which ultimately leads to the death of Rachel’s mother.

It’s after this point that the film really starts to go off the rails. Hendrickson (who also wrote the film) focuses on Kate, her younger sister (Chelsea Farthing) and her now ex-boyfriend (Jesse James), as they return to the farm two years after the incident, only to slowly come to the conclusion that the townsfolk have become possessed. While Hendrickson often observes his lead actress through the lens with an abundance of male gaze-y shots (while she’s jogging, while she’s changing, etc.), the majority of the film takes in dull scenes of the three teens aimlessly wandering around the city, occasionally running into demonic townsfolk and being utterly baffled as to what might be happening. This happens about thirty or so times before The Hollow One himself makes an appearance, revealing his nonsensical obsession with Rachel for reasons that become vaguely religious (a theme that is never otherwise explored in the entire film).

It would take many more paragraphs to truly dissect everything wrong with The Hollow One, but the point all boils down to this: don’t see it. Ever. If you see it playing somewhere, run the other direction. And to Mr. Hendrickson, I implore you: please stick to video games.

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Fun Factor
Final Thoughts

No. Just... no.

Overall Score 0.8

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