Originally titled “The Woods”, the feature film debut from director Corin Hardy is the 2015 British / Irish production of horror movie “The Hallow”.
Adam Hitchens (Joseph Mawle – “Kill Your Friends”, “Made In Dagenham”) is a tree surgeon who moves to a small Irish village with his wife Clare and baby son Finn.
When Adam is out in the local woods making a survey ahead of some proposed logging he comes across an abandoned building, in which he discovers the corpse of a dead animal with a strange black muddy substance on it. Taking some cell samples, he heads home to investigate further.
Meanwhile Clare (Bojana Novakovic – “Devil”, “Generation Um…”) has been busy removing some metal bars that have been screwed in front of all the windows of the house that they have just moved into.
A local man, Colm Donnelly (Michael McElhatton – “Fifty Dead Men Walking”, “The Fall”), visits Clare, unhappy that Adam is meddling in the woods and demanding that he go to see him when he returns home.
Adam, however, elects to stay at home and study the samples that he collected. Later an upstairs window mysteriously smashes in Finn’s room and the door slams shut on Adam and Clare as they rush to investigate.
Thinking Colm to be to blame, Adam calls the police. Local policeman Garda Davey (Michael Smiley – “A Field In England”, “Kill List”) attends and says that he believes that a bird must have caused the damage to the window. He also alludes to a local legend regarding the woods known as the Hallow.
When Adam goes to the local village the following day to get the window repaired he is again warned about the Hallow, while Clare is visited again by Colm who warns that the couple should leave the village for their own safety. As Adam makes his way home the car suddenly loses all power and stops, the engine compartment inexplicably filling with the black muddy substance. Things get even worse when he does manage to get home. What is causing these unexplained events, and what does the Hallow have in store for the young family?…
This is a decent little horror movie. I suppose you could describe it as being part folk horror (outsiders moving to a remote village with hostile locals) and part supernatural horror (unexplained phenomena). Not gory or overly scary, the film is nonetheless effective in unsettling and chilling the viewer and keeping you watching. The climax is well handled and the final scene as the credits roll is a perfect ending. Worth a watch…