Director Corin Hardy uses the mythology as a spring-board to explore a kaleidoscope of influences, and presents a grim fairytale that relies heavily on suspense and anticipation. The story follows a young couple and their infant son, who have recently moved to a remote homestead in the middle of a forested landscape. The husband is a conservationist and his presence in the woods has upset the locals. Ignoring their warnings to leave, the couple soon find themselves at the mercy of a malevolent entity and before they're able to comprehend what is happening to them, their home is consumed by evil.
The film's influences are obvious with notable homage paid to titles like THE EVIL DEAD, PUMPKINHEAD and SHIVERS (amongst others), and yet despite all of its nostalgia, the film feels fresh and original. Thanks to a savvy production design and amazing practical creature-effects, everything we see feels organic. Whether it's monsters lurking in the shadows or gratuitous gore-riddled mayhem, THE HALLOW is a horror movie with substance.
What sets is above others is its tenacity. It taps into a primal horror, which exploits maternal fears, and it doesn't hold back. Very rarely do we receive a film that puts infants in true danger and in most cases, despite tumultuous situations, we know that the baby will be alright in the end. In THE HALLOW, there is no such reassurance and the result is a courageous horror film that flirts with the viewer's expectations.
This is a smart and unexpected chiller that might just creep under the skin of unsusceptible movie-goers. It is stylish and eerie, and the atmosphere is rich with texture... and above all else, it's damn scary! THE HALLOW makes for an unpredictable and thoroughly absorbing experience.