Having recently watched and loved V/H/S on DVD, I have a new found interest in the ‘found footage’ horror genre. V/H/S did something different with the genre giving it a whole new lease of life. British ‘found footage’ film Hollow arrives on DVD after a long-overdue release and reminds us all why we had become bored with the concept in the first place.
Hollow is the story of 2 couples spending the weekend together in an isolated Suffolk cottage where there is no mobile phone reception, very few people yet a wealth of back story involving suicides and a mysterious tree. Lucky for us, one of the chaps has documented the entire weekend on his video camera. Unlucky for him, we are informed at the very beginning that said camera had been retrieved by the East Anglian police department at the base of a mysterious tree where four bodies were found dead, hanging from their necks.
Could it be group suicide? or was something more mysterious at play? From the off, we know what fate has in store for these people, but what of their journey? how do these people go from having a fun filled weekend away to dangling in a tree by a noose? the footage from the camera will surely reveal the horror, won’t it? Not likely. The biggest issue with ‘found footage’ films prior to V/H/S is that they promise big and deliver little all the while pushing our patience to the edge. Hollow seems to take an absolute age to get going and when it finally does you’d wish it hadn’t.
Hollow feels very familiar to me. I’m fairly certain I’ve had very similar evenings to this in my teenage years that weren’t caught on camera. If only I knew then what I know now my friends and I could have made our own ‘found footage’ film on a shoe-string budget and made a fortune. Hollow is exactly that, a very cheap entry into the genre that feels completely forced. It feels like it’s been knocked up over a few days with both amateur actors and film-makers alike. It wouldn’t be difficult to achieve. One camera, four people, a few fields and one giant tree. Hell, I can see three giant trees from my window right now.
Hollow is a cheap imitation of other found footage movies. It relies heavily on our imagination to fill in the gaps as the makers here have made little attempt to create a haunting atmosphere for us using camera tricks or anything else for that matter. Take a camera to a field at night, point it at a big tree and tell us it’s scary seems to be the criteria here. Oooo scary tree. We are not fooled.
The best thing about this film? The poster above. One to avoid.