The Horror Honeys: The Hallow: Hide your babies from the tree fairies

The Hallow: Hide your babies from the tree fairies

A Supernatural Honey Indie Review by Suzanne

The Hallow (2015)

On a recent visit home to NY, I had the opportunity to attend the The Lincoln Center Film Society’s Scary Movies 9. There was an amazing list of films that, sadly, I wasn’t there long enough to catch, but I did get to see an Irish indie film I was completely unfamiliar with and it was totally worth it.

Directed and co-written by Corin Hardy (who is also rumored to be directing the Crow reboot), The Hallow takes its cues from Irish folklore and fairy tales. We all know real fairy tales don’t have the happy endings studios like Disney would like us to believe and this film is no exception.

Adam Hitchens (Joseph Mawle) is a conservationist sent to mark trees for removal in a remote Irish forest. He moves with his wife, Claire (Bojana Novakovic) and their infant son to an old house near the woods. The locals warn Adam to leave because his actions will anger the tree fairies, also known as the Hallow, but as tends to happen, he ignores them and proceeds with his work. Soon after, the Hitchens’ are terrorized by these fairies that have nothing in common with Tinkerbell. Instead, they are demon-like creatures that secrete an oily substance that infects anything organic, like flesh, and they want the Hitchens’ baby.

The story isn’t extraordinary or even completely original, but it’s well told, even if the first act is a bit slow. However, while the second act is usually pretty laborious, here we’re spared and The Hallow really takes off and powers through until the end.

The cast is superb. Mawle and Novakovic have great chemistry, both as a loving couple and couple in crisis. Extra props go to Novakovic who spent a great deal of the film with a baby strapped to her. Even when they used a prop, it must have been tough running through a forest with a bundle tied to your chest. Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones) and Michael Smiley (Shaun of the Dead, Spaced) round out the cast with small, but important roles.

The Hallow was filmed on location in Ireland, which is not only important to the story, but to the dispiriting atmosphere. Along with the practical locations are the effects. Director Corin Hardy sat for a Q&A after the screening to talk about the evolution of the film. A huge fan of Ray Harryhausen, Stan Winston, and Rob Bottin, Hardy wanted to keep the creatures as practical as possible and although CG is used sparingly, the creatures are primarily prosthetics and clever lighting. He stated he sees the film as a mix of Straw Dogs and Pan’s Labyrinth.

Just say no to eyeball poking.
I won’t spoil any scenes or even what the creatures look like, but I will say The Hallow is very wet, slimy, and gory. The director does make use of a few jump scares, but overall it is a tense film, full of action.

Supernatural Honey Verdict: 3.5 burning secretions out of 5

The Hallow is available on VOD now!