Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Hallow (2015)'
Scientifically plausible, but somehow less real.
Eh, there was a lot about this movie I actually liked but I'm not sure I can call it good horror or give it a pass. It was a lot like Hybrid, in that they tried to shoehorn too much into a fairly simple concept. They tried to go with a "scientifically plausible" explanation for fairies while still trying to stick with the lore. I can appreciate the attempt and it's not like they went full "Scooby-Doo Effect" on the movie. I don't know, they didn't really need to put in all the unnecessary effort. Sometimes doing too much can sort of throw off the pace of the movie. Do we really need an explanation for how the fairies work? It came off as very "telly" as appose to "showy." Aren’t evil fairies enough? Do they need to be plausible?
But it's still pretty nifty and I can appreciate the attempt, though honestly, they could've cut a lot of it out. This movie almost failed my '30 Minute Rule' and you really don't want to lose your audience's attention that way. Especially when they're easily bored like me and many other horror fans.
So, the pacing was bad and the plot was a little over stuffed. But the acting was fantastic. Good, even for Hollywood. The atmosphere was well done. Everything was old and molding and you could almost smell it. The setting was so real, it was just fantastic.
I can’t recommend this movie, much as I want to. I’m not going to tell you not to watch it, because there is a lot right with it, but I just can’t give it a pass.
So the fairies, if you really want to call them that, are people who've been infected with a parasitic fungus. The kind of fungus that can inflict mind control over ants and drive them like little zombies to infect a whole colony. It kinda takes the whole "fairy" out of the equation when you set the mythos up like that. They're really more like zombies. More like the things from I Am Legend since they can be hurt by light and they're actually intelligent (even if a little bestial).
I think I would preferred Redcap or even Goblins, as campy as that sounds. The reason being, this spin takes the lore out of the lore. There's no reason to completely abandon the supernatural elements when it comes storytelling. The supernatural is perfectly acceptable in fiction. It's like my typical complaint against the "Scooby-Doo Effect." Horror, and movies in general, are about escapism. They're a welcomed abandonment of the ordinary. Otherwise, why fucking watch them? I can appreciate what they're trying to do here though. I think they were trying to create an element of science so the supernatural could seem more real. In a sense, we could believe, if only for a moment, that the supernatural is plausible. I just don't agree that it's necessary
I do have a problem with a part of the setting though. At one point, the fairies brake into the protagonists' house and there's this strobing light. Then you find out light hurts them. Soooooooo, why the fuck were the fairies creating a strobing light? It's a neat effect, but it makes no sense if the fucking fairies a hurt by light. No fucking clue where they were going with that.
I did like the fact that they stuck to changeling lore by having the fairies kidnap and replace a baby with a creepy doppelganger. First, the creatures stole the baby and then they replace it with... I guess a spore baby? My problem here is that these things are supposed to reproduce by infecting other living creatures. But they made a baby? I’m not sure I follow. Still, the changeling baby was a cool idea.
Yeah, I guess I liked this movie alright. One thing that me and my wife kept riffing on was the name of the dog "Iggy." Every time they called for the dog we'd shout "Baby." Any Murder City Devil fans out there? Anywho... yeah, I guess watch it.
Again, I can't recommend it because there was too much wrong with it, but it wasn't bad.