With the Irish government planning to proceed with a mass deforestation in order to save themselves from bankruptcy, a family moves into a remote mill house just outside of the woods so the father may commence with his pre-deforestation work. However it would appear the woods do not wish to be removed, and this family will suffer the consequences.
It’s a common trope in Horror films that in the first third you don’t see anything, then in the next you see glimpses of the beasties and in the final third you see all of it and its underwhelming. The Hallow does stick mostly to this trope, but it has the unusual distinction of not giving and feeling of disappointment when the beasties are finally seen in full. They are very well designed and genuinely creepy. As is the whole of the Hallow in fact. From the opening minute there is a feeling of dread and anticipation which builds and builds until it reaches its highest point at about 70 minutes in. While I would say it’s not so much scary as it is overwhelmingly creepy it does have some properly scary sequences. There is a particular sequence involving a car that had me swearing out loud.
What I loved about The Hallow (and I did love it) was how it stuck to its guns throughout and never bottled out of the film it wanted to be. There are no concessions to the main stream here. There’s no first ten minutes female nudity to get the lads interested, there’s no young romance tale to interest the females (just so you know I don’t actually think all males/females want in films is the above I was just trying to be humorous don’t hate me) they are a middle aged couple with a young child. And it is properly nasty when it wants to be.
Sure, not everything works but most of it does, and all of it is made with a great passion and charisma that makes it impossible not to just get swept away with it all. Overall, I really loved and admired The Hallow for doing exactly what it wanted to do and for not being ashamed about making a serious (as in not a spoof) film about Irish folklore tales and evil fairies. It’s really great.