Watching Bad Movies: Hollows Grove

 

Found footage films have a big market. I'm not in that market. I hate the idea of a film being made up of found footage. I understand that back during the Blair Witch days you could make up a story and implement it in the real world. In 2017 you just can't do that any more so it makes the idea of the films a little dated. On top of that they're not really good. The plots are always bad and most if not all of the actors are just plain annoying. Hollows End isn't any different.

The film follows Harold has he films a behind the scenes documentary on the paranormal TV show SPIT. I know, it's a juvenile and childish name. He starts by following around Tim, a long time friend and one of the hosts. They go see Bill who is the prop master and rigs things up too look spooky. Bill comes out covered in blood and wielding a chainsaw with sparks flying. It's all fake and he wanted to give everyone a good scare.

After meeting with Bill we meet the rest of the team. Chad the camera guy is a Russian immigrant and a generally okay guy. Julie is the segment producer and plays super nice, but she's a good actress because she kept giving these dirty looks like she was sick of all the BS. I don't even think these were written into the film because there's no closeups to capture this. You just have to be looking away from everything else to capture a near constant Julie side eye. Roger is Tim's cohost and I hate dude bro frat boy Roger. I celebrated when he died. I did a little fist pump. I hate him. I know a lot of Rogers. I went to school with some of them. I still hang out with some of them. Roger is a loud mouth, inconsiderate, constantly inappropriate jackass who constantly crosses lines. At one point he makes a joke about the crew having group sex with Julie. Nobody else laughs at the joke and she breaks the silence with "I can only handle two dicks at once," everyone else laughs awkwardly. This is the first time it happens. Later Chad is giving an interview and Roger keeps sliding pictures of penises into the frame. Chad gets annoyed and Tim calms him down. Why do they keep Roger around? Nobody likes him. Other people are constantly forced to keep someone from killing him.

Julie goes over the history of the Hollows Grove orphanage. It is haunted because one of the children Lilah Calford once slit the throats of all the other children before hiding in the closet and yelling she didn't want to do it and eventually vanished. There's staff members who committed suicide. Abuse of both staff and patients by upper management and so much more. Anyway, they go there and Hector the grounds keeper won't let them in. He says he doesn't even go in. They push him aside after learning Bill snuck through the back.

They set up camp and begin exploring. Roger is afraid of bugs. They're doing the fake paranormal stuff and eventually a dead cat gets thrown against the wall.  They assume this is part of Bill's work. Why would they assume Bill's 70 year old skeleton tracked down and cornered a stray cat, killed it, and set up a rig just to throw a dead cat at them? Is Bill a serial killer? Is that why they think he just kills cats for fun? Later Chad's camera dies and he falls down the stairs and breaks his camera. Harold takes his role and Julie stays with Chad. Julie becomes possessed and just murders him.

Harold sees some ghost kids following Tim and Roger. They don't believe it. They find Bill duct taped to a chair. An invisible ghost slits his throat. That wasn't part of the prank. They try to escape and realize the building is locked. Upstairs Julie runs by them after realizing she's possessed and jumps out a window because she's getting out by any means necessary. They look down and see that Hector was hung outside a window.

Roger gets killed by a ghost and for the first time, things are looking up for everyone. Am I not supposed to celebrate that? I'm sorry. I am a bad man and Roger dying was very sad...for some people. Tim and Harold get separated. A ghost kid rolls up and just murderizes Tim. Harold finds Chad's body and while shocked a ghost pushes him into the basement where he's dragged into a furnace and burned to death.

An FBI Agent shows us a ghost in a jar and assures us this was all real. It wasn't, and since when a jars ghost proof? Julie wakes up in her hospital room only to realize that she is still possessed. This is a bad movie. The actors are bad. The characters are annoying and you don't feel sympathy for any of them dying except Julie and Harold for putting up with the crap from the others. Actually, Bill might have killed that cat. He's kind of a dick too. Attacking people with a chainsaw as a joke, being retired and collecting funds off the book, and I never liked Admiral Hackett anyway. That's a Mass Effect Joke, because he voices Admiral Hackett in the original trilogy.

Let me tell you how bad it is. Mykelti Williamson gets top billing and he's only in the first and last scenes for a combined three minutes at most. He essentially does a prologue and an epilogue. Nothing else. Bresha Webb who plays Julie is just about the only person who kept working after the film was released.

I just hate found footage films so let me rant for a second. Roger was horrible, I wanted to murder him myself, I'm sure I've already mentioned it. He's ever frat boy jackass you meet. He's the dude bro Twitter talks about. Yet they expect us to have sympathy for him and not for Chad or Julie the people who are most patronized by him. I hate Tim, he's a conman. Harold is the innocent spectator and Julie is the good girl trying to be bad. I'm not generalizing them, I'm just stating these are typical tropes. Tropes aren't bad. They're tropes because they work but somehow this movie seems to screw them all up. The orphanage doesn't look haunted at all and their only real attempt is to use night vision through majority of the film. Chipping paint, leaking pipes, creaking floors and bugs don't mean haunted. It just means you're in a really old building. They don't even start seeing ghosts until they've been in there for half an hour. The shaky hand, terror, found footage thing is just dumb. I can't stand it and it is one type of film I never give a chance. I'm just being honest. I sat through Requiem For A Dream and only flinched a little, I can sit through anything. From this point on you will need to place  a gun to my head. I hate found footage films with a passion, that's just the way it is.

You should buy Darrell's Book, watch him on the Blerds Online YouTube Channel or The CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. 
Watching Bad Movies: Hollows Grove Watching Bad Movies: Hollows Grove Reviewed by Darrell S. on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.