TADFF15: The Hallow

A couple try to protect their child from malevolent fairy folk in the woods in The Hallow. British conservationist Adam Hitchens (Joseph Mawle) and his wife Claire (Bojana Novakovic) and baby son Finn have traveled from London to a small Irish town to mark down trees in a local forest for removal. This upsets the townsfolk, particularly local farmer Colm Donnelly (Michael McElhatton), who believes that the woods belong to fairy folk known as The Hallow and that if you trespass upon them, they will trespass upon you. Adam and Claire quickly find out that this is more than a local superstition, as The Hallow come after them, with the intent of taking their baby and making him one of their own.

The Hallow is an Irish creature feature, which seems to stem a bit from folklore about fairies that live in the woods. There are some obviously similarities between the creatures of The Hallow and those from the Guillermo del Toro produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which seems to suggest that both films tackle the same folklore, in much different ways.

The Hallow is more than halfway through before the creatures are fully revealed, with the film relying mostly on sound and and a black wood-rotting slime that The Hallow leave behind. While not as scary as expected, the film does have some tense scenes and even introduces a body horror element. For his debut feature film, Irish music video director Corin Hardy shows some real chops and it will be interesting to see what he does with the remake of The Crow, which will be his next film. Altogether, The Hallow is a solid folklore-based creature feature, with a dash of body horror.

8 / 10 stars


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).