Directed by Sheldon Wilson [Other horror films: Shallow Ground (2004), Kaw (2007), Screamers: The Hunting (2009), Carny (2009), Mothman (2010), Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010), Killer Mountain (2011), Scarecrow (2013), Shark Killer (2015), The Unspoken (2015), The Night Before Halloween (2016), Neverknock (2017), Stickman (2017), Dead in the Water (2018)]
I had the misfortune of seeing this Sheldon Wilson film before, and it’s not gotten any better since that first time a few years back. The thing is, I think this could have had potential with the setting and with the characters, but it’s entirely squandered to make a generically bad Syfy original.
This is something that Wilson has a history with, though. I enjoyed Neverknock and The Unspoken, true, and to a certain extent, I enjoyed both Kaw and Stickman, but much of his recent work, such as The Night Before Halloween, Dead in the Water, and this one, are really hard to get through, and this is one of the worse (though certainly Dead in the Water was probably a bit worse).
Was Stephanie Hunt attractive? Sure. Was Sarah Dugdale attractive? You know it. Did either one give a particularly good performance, or in fact, did anyone in the film give a good performance? That’d be a negative. I don’t blame the failure of the film on the performances though – Dugdale and Hunt could only work with what they’ve got, and if they’re given a bad script, what can they do?
The monster was a combination of the roots from The Ruins and that hideous monster-thing in Shadows of the Dead (another stellar Syfy original) – most of the time, it looked like angry embers and sticks were attacking people. This had to do with revenge from some witches, but the witches could have tried harder to not send a creature that reeked of hideous CGI.
I liked the setting – an island off some undisclosed state (probably Washington or something, but I don’t think it’s said in the film). It was a large island, but much of it seemed to be forest, which was sort of cool. And the characters being focused on all being sisters also brought a little bit confort, so we wouldn’t have to deal with any horrible romantic sub-plot (unless there was some lesbian incest going on, but no dice). It has the basics to maybe make for an okay story if they had wanted to, maybe an interesting mystery-slasher hybrid, or perhaps some type of psychological horror à la Hereditary set on an island. That’s not what happened.
Oh, also the younger sister had unexplained psychic dreams, so that was #cool.
When I initially watched The Hollow, I was disappointed because I was hopeful that maybe it’d end up being one of the better Syfy originals, but that’s not the case, and it’s really not a movie I can think of any real reason to watch.