Sometimes all an enjoyable TV movie needs is a fun villain or creature thing, whatever. This will do wonders to a lackluster everything else, especially when that everything else, is so far from unoriginal, it’s not even funny.
The Sonar Entertainment film “The Hollow”, is not without its flaws, but is one of the few better films shown on SyFy.
This horror film stars Stephanie Hunt (“Your Family or Mine”, “Glee”), Sara Dugdale (“Sorority Murder”, “Sugarbabies”), Richard Harmon (“The 100”, “Continuum”), Garry Chalk (upcoming “’Tis the Season for Love”, “The Returned (US TV series)”), and Deborah Kara Unger (“Samuel Bleak”, “A Dark Truth”).
The film was directed by Sheldon Wilson (“Shark Killer”, “Scarecrow”) and written by Rick Suvalle (“Scarecrow”, “Roadkill”) and Wilson (“Shark Killer”, “The Hazing Secret”).
The film originally aired on Oct. 24, 2015 on SyFy.
Okay, so I almost forgot all about this. I don’t know how I did remember, but I got around to watching it and half regret it and half not. It just wasn’t as much fun. And yes, I’m going to suggest that it’s because I lacked any Twitter interactions. It really does make all the difference. I did have my own share of snarky thoughts, but if I’m the only one able to enjoy them, it’s not as much fun. This time around, there was very little enjoyment as everything that happened is something I feel like I’ve seen before. Thankfully there was the tree/root creature thing, or I probably wouldn’t have finished it.
It’s both, great and sad, when the best thing about a given film is the creature that’s seemingly randomly killing people. It didn’t look bad at all. Every bit was actually amazing! Design and CGI effects were probably the best I’ve ever seen for a SyFy Original Movie. Maybe it’s because whenever we saw it, there was a lot of darkness surrounding it, so it’s obvious fake look wasn’t as visible or easy to spot. Whatever it was, it certainly made the creature more frightening than it would otherwise be. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing it return in a sequel. However, they’d have to really work on the next film’s story. This one had a pretty stupid one that really made no sense as the film went on. Certainly the characters actions made no sense when you learned about why the creature was here at all.
Before I jump into how stupid the characters all were, especially the sisters, let me say this on Unger. Unger lasted the least I’ve ever seen some B-list, semi-known actor last in one of these films. I mean, for goodness sake, David Hasselhoff lasted until the end of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” and he’s as B-list as they come. Same with Vivica A. Fox in “Sharknado 2: The Second One”, and many more from the “Sharknado” films. I honestly can’t recall many other films with B-list or lower celebrities. Sorry. Unger lasted, What? 10 minutes? It was really short. I was actually excited for her as I recognized her name. It didn’t matter. All that excitement wasted.
I usually don’t expect much from the characters in these films, but I’ve never been so anti-them before. Certainly not to the degree I was in this film. Every single character just annoyed me. The sisters especially. What was supposed to be helpful and show a relationship wasn’t. It was clear they were sisters and had normal sister or sibling issues. Okay, great. Let’s move on. Did we? No. It all kept showing up again in the most annoying of ways. Then when they finally get rescued by other towns people, it just adds to the stupidity. At first it seems like they’d all ride out the storm and the creature in the safety of a shop, or wherever they were, but that would be too easy. No, the brilliant and simple plan was abandoned to try and defeat the creature. And this ultimately led to a lot of deaths, including those that stayed in the shop, hidden. Nowhere is safe. And even when you’d think beating this thing would be easy or something, stupid choice by stupid character just followed. It’s like they each got amnesia right after each encounter and forgot how to make a smart choice. They’d never seen any of this before or learned anything either. If I had been rooting for the creature, it might have won. That wold’ve been a great ending!
And then there’s fucking Emma. She gets her own paragraph. Let me put in some context for you. The fact that I wrote, let alone thought, three times, “Fucking Emma”, is not good. She should’ve died. There were plenty of opportunities for this to happen. It’s everyone for themselves. She certainly wasn’t worth risking death for, especially, even if she is nuttier than a fruitcake, if she knows she was told not to leave. Dumb people like that aren’t worth it. Ever. Yet that’s exactly what happened, time and again. Just another way this movie couldn’t offer up anything new.
Not every TV movie, even if you suspect it won’t be, can be a real winner. It’s why people enjoy TV movies and why they keep getting made. And while there have been so many that just work and revel in the ridiculousness they present, others still try too hard and fail for some reason. While I can’t be fully amazed by this film, I certainly have a new hope that CGI effects will not always look like crap.