Myths and legends and folklore converge in the “found footage” horror film Hollow (2011) from the UK. Four friends on holiday decide to explore the local legend of a haunted and remote area in which couples have committed suicide and hung themselves at an old tree. While searching for the truth about the legend, the four friends discover unknown truths about themselves as well as uncover a deep and dark presence that may lie at the heart of the legend.
Like many other found footage films this film spends much of the first two-thirds delving into the characters of the four friends. Played by Emily Plumtree, Sam Stockman, Jessica Ellerby, and Matt Stockoe the four friends are actually very interesting and come off as genuine friends. The first part of the film is very well done but at times spends too much time establishing character and too little time on the actual meat of the story. It is only at the two-thirds mark that the story finally picks up but then the film de-evolves into standard “found footage” film fare by having the characters run around in low lighting situations in which they repeat themselves far too often and very little happens. Most of the plot comes within the last fifteen minutes but by this time the film comes off as unoriginal and boring despite the amped up paranormal moments.
The film is written by Matthew Holt and directed by Michael Axelgaard. Like I said, the first two-thirds is actually quite good and you forget that you’re watching a found footage film but by the time the film starts to ramp up for that final third the extreme shaky cam and low lighting and extreme close ups all rear their ugly head too frequently and it takes you out of the film. It is my opinion that the film would’ve been stronger if told in a more conventional manner and the found footage aesthetic would’ve been dropped. The found footage style is becoming all too familiar and a show of a low budget production but this is one of those films that could’ve done with a little more traditional storytelling methods which would’ve made the whole film much more effective. Instead, the whole film just comes off as a mediocre found footage film that will leave you wishing that it had been better.