Reviewed by Fred Topel
At the intro to his midnight premiere of The Hallow, director Corin Hardy called it a grounded, dark fairy tale. It is that but it’s so much more too. It’s also a creature feature, a siege movie, possession and body horror. It serves all five and now makes me really happy Hardy is doing The Crow.
Adam is working for a logging company in a small town where the locals believe the forest belongs to some creatures. Now, even if they were just hostile locals, that’s scary enough. I would quit. The logging business can’t be lucrative enough to endure scary locals threatening my family. But of course, having watched movies before we know the townie freaks are actually right.
The Hallow is relentless when the creatures come after Adam, his wife and his baby. They just keep coming and break through every barricade, poke through every keyhole. Big loud jump scares are backed up by first rate creature design and staging of the attacks. When Adam is working on the power generator while the his wife is guarding the baby, she’s f***ed. Those things are coming at her.
That’s the siege and the creatures, but they can also possess Adam so that’s another threat on top of the above. It mutates his body so there’s your Cronenberg. There’s some good old black goo oozing around too. The fairy tale is in the mythology, which is explored in the third act.
All of the above is just a list of things The Hallow did right. Combining all those elements and keeping it intense, all with characters who have been established as passionate and loving, makes us invested in the ride Hardy is taking us on. After he’s done with The Crow I would be happy to revisit The Hallow again, but of course I would. I’m Franchise Fred and I think there should always be sequels to everything, indefinitely, no exceptions. Bring on Return to The Hallow, Bride of The Hallow and, of course, The Hallow in Space.