Hollows Grove Film Review – Slow Pacing, Great Sound and Shock Value

Hollows Grove film poster

Synopsis (source Roberson PR):  In HOLLOWS GROVE, a young filmmaker, Harold Maxwell, is doing a behind-the-scenes documentary on his ghost hunting reality show friends, the Spirit and Paranormal Investigation Team, (S.P.I.T.), as they prepare for their next assignment. Harold and the S.P.I.T crew head out to film an old, abandoned and supposedly haunted orphanage, Hollows Grove. Soon after arriving at the orphanage the team begins to realize that what they thought would be a routine investigation is turning in to a nightmare from which they cannot escape.  

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

 

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

Hollows Grove stars Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead), Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump), Matt Doherty (Mighty Ducks, So I Married an Axe Murderer), Sunkrish Bala (“The Walking Dead”), Bresha Webb (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “ER”), Val Morrison (“Days of Our Lives), and newcomer Matt Carey.  HOLLOWS GROVE received an “R” rating from the MPAA.  

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

 

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

Hollows Grove is a documentary-style, thriller written and directed by Indie filmmaker, Craig Efros.  The film relies heavily on loud and specific sound effects, as there is no film score.  Sound is excellent from the get go creating the proverbial shock value of a horror flick.  Efros successfully and creatively uses a single camera to create camera angles, which cleverly reveal only what is necessary but not an entire picture of the scenes.  The allure and mystery of what is not shown, coupled with remarkable editing, enhances the thrill aspect.  Fantastic direction, exceptional set design and acting (with the exception of the Hollows Grove caretaker). 

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

 

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

Efros commented on the inspiration behind the script, “I always find myself a skeptic when watching ‘reality ghost shows.’  It is not because I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but because I see these ‘ghost hunters’ reacting almost comically to what they can’t see by using: quick cuts, slow replays and faint sounds to get the audience to believe, that what they are seeing is real.  This is modern day ‘smoke and mirrors’ sometimes done with camera tricks and editing. To me, many times it feels as though the ghost hunters themselves don’t really believe in what they’re doing. This has always interested me and I wanted to know what the ‘behind the scenes’ were like. Was it all a put on? If so, did they feel any remorse for lying? What would happen to these paranormal detectives if they really discovered the ghosts they always claim to be seeking?  These thoughts are what inspired me to write HOLLOWS GROVE and to delve deeper into these questions.”  

Still from the set of Hollows Grove

The one drawback of the film is the slow story set up; pacing in the beginning is slow.  Once the team arrives at Hollows Grove and navigates the halls of the building, the film picks up.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen until about thirty minutes into the film.  However, this overall story and sound quality of the film elevate the film to a level to which horror fans will truly enjoy. 

Hollows Grove will be released on VOD through iTunes and the film’s Official Website on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.  Watch the film trailer below:  

 

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