Sunday, April 17, 2016

THE HALLOW (Scream Factory/IFC Midnight Blu-ray)

The Hallow sure did make an impression when it hit VOD last year. I heard several folks say that it could contend for Horror picture of the year.  I myself thought it played well with some really great looking creatures that may have had too much screen time. I think the outcry of support for this picture comes from the setup. It has that country legend feel that works well for camping movies as well as fish out of water tales following the city mouse moving to the country. The Hallow is available now on Blu-ray from Scream Factory and IFC Midnight. For an independent movie, this is one loaded disc with a rather cumbersome extra package that creates a special experience for budding cult following who has taken to this movie so quickly.

The first thirty minutes or so got under my skin a bit. Here you are, a couple in the middle of nowhere and the people in the surrounding area are treating you as though you are the new sex offender on the block. There's something perfectly unsettling about that and the whole set up to the local legend/creature aspect of the film is well executed. Unfortunately after the initial setup, the whole thing shows off the monster too quickly and becomes sort of an erratic marathon that rushes its way past tension building. Any good monster picture knows how to sell its big scary creature. The reveal is so soon; the picture could have benefited from keeping everything hidden generating fear from the unknown rather than a continuous visual connection to the creature. That's not to say it isn't good. The movie is shot well, performed well and has a strong, dreadful presence in the characters' isolation.

The movie looks good in HD and shot well. The extra package contains four separate featurettes which focus on everything from creature creation to a making of special. There's a commentary track, trailer, storyboard gallery, sketch gallery, original illustration gallery. While I may not be The Hallow's latest fan boy, I think it has riveting cover art and could a be contender for Blu-ray of the year in terms of its voluptuous extra offering that feels like it went above and beyond.

As a first time director, Corin Hardy does a great job and the public support for this picture shows. The cast being somewhat obscure does a great job of selling their terror and are easy to empathize with creating the proper victim to villain relationship. You can root for these folks, and that's something that can make a good Horror film, great.

You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:

From Scream Factory:

When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland with his wife and infant child to survey an area of forest believed to be hallowed ground by superstitious locals, his actions unwittingly disturb a horde of demonic creatures who prey upon the lost. Alone and deep within the darkness of the remote wilderness, he must now fight back to protect his family against the ancient forces' relentless attacks.

Starring Joseph Mawle (The Awakening, Game of Thrones) and Bojana Novakovic (Devil, Drag Me to Hell), The Hallow marks acclaimed visual stylist Corin Hardy's feature directorial debut. Hardy displays a technical elegance and sophisticated approach to the macabre in this modern and disquieting horror fable.

Bonus Features

Audio Commentary With Director Corin Hardy
Surviving The Fairytale: The Making Of The Hallow
Behind-The-Scenes: The Story
Behind-The-Scenes: Influence
Behind-The-Scenes: Practical F/X
Director's Storyboards Gallery
Director's Sketchbook Gallery
The Book Of Invasions – Original Illustrations Gallery
Creature Concepts Gallery
Theatrical Trail

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