Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Hollow Screenplay Takes The Fear Out Of Hollows Grove.

Hollows Grove is an upcoming found footage horror picture that details the tragic circumstances surrounding a documentary filmmaker's excursion into a haunted orphanage where friends of his, who have a "Ghost Hunters" like program, have decided to focus upon because of the stories of children experimented upon by uncaring Doctors, the suicide of two nurses and a kid who went on a killing spree inside.
The film features Lance Henriksen in what is little more than a cameo, although he is given some ironic opening dialogue that makes one wish he was featured throughout the entire film. This is a low budget independent haunted horror story that features some nifty effects and a capable cast of young actors, but the script is weak and generic. 
What little information that is given by the characters does not offer enough of a mythology to capture the viewer's imagination. Instead you get a few throw away cliches that add nothing new to the already overused found footage sub genre and pretty much I did not find myself caring very much for any of the characters because they behave exactly as one expects them to behave. They are flat and when the shit hits the fan it becomes a by the numbers countdown of character deaths. 

If one had a greater understanding about the kids, the orphanage/hospital and the motivations and or greater history of the evil concentrated within then at least I might feel some sympathy. Instead what I see are people behaving irresponsibly in a situation when the moment something goes wrong, anyone with a half a brain would get out of the place pronto. Why the spirits do what they do and how they choose to do it seems random at best. One has to ask what are the rules here? How far do these ghosts have dominion over? Is it the place itself and is it concentrated sentient evil energy or a kind of broken record that is triggered when people touch things and go places they have no business being involved in? Besides a few brief disjointed stories, I felt as though what was going on had no purpose. 
Even ghosts, demons, and monsters have to have an agenda that clearly can be understood by the audience. Watch "The Blair Witch Project" and you get a pretty clear understanding of what the legend is, who the person was before being accused of witchcraft, what she was said to have done, and why she may still be haunting the woods. People bought that mythology up so much that they thought it was real.

All I kept asking myself while watching this film was "why?" The last scene while intended to give a shock only cheapened the story more and took whatever credibility it had with it.

Good effects and some expressive cast members ultimately stumble because of an underdeveloped script. Hollows Grove will debut on iTunes as well as on the film's website on October 21, 2014.

(C) Copyright 2014 By Mark Rivera
All Rights Reserved.