Horror Movie Review: Hall (2020)

Directed by Francesco Giannini, Hall is a contagion-based horror with dramatic elements surrounding domestic abuse and controlling behaviour. It stars Julian Richings, Carolina Bartczak, Yumiko Shaku, and Vlasta Vrana.

Two women, Val and Naomi are from different walks of life but share something in common, they are both in abusive and controlling relationships. The latter has escaped her husband, leaving Japan and her family to have her child in America, but is still fearful of being found. Whereas the former is struggling to escape her marriage and worried about the impact it might have on her young child.

Both women have ended up at a hotel for the night when a mysterious airborne virus spreads rapidly along the floor they are staying on. Infecting almost everyone and turning them violent before killing the host. Naomi is infected and has to fight for her survival whereas Val’s abusive husband is infected and she must fight to save herself and her daughter. Will either of them survive the Hall?

The best thing about Hall is how it weaves abuse and control into a contagion-based horror and utilises clever metaphors to express the nuances of such an experience. Both main characters are extremely likable and well-acted. Making their drama some of the most compelling parts of the movie.

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Which does make the horror aspect feel lukewarm by comparison, especially as it doesn’t really deliver on thrills. Hall’s goal seems to be to make you feel despondent and depressed, and it’s a goal that is achieved to some degree. The problem is that it constantly slips into familiar horror territory so you are expecting it to ramp up because of that, and it never does.

The longer it goes on, the more it starts to run out of steam, and the more it makes you question what the whole point of it is. Then it ends. Leaving you with more questions than answers and feeling wholly unsatisfied with the ending. Not a bad film overall though as it does more than enough to hold the attention throughout.

It’s such a shame that these issues exist though as the over-arching story and domestic abuse layers are strong. This particular infection is an intriguing one, the characters are likable enough to spend more time with, and the acting is top-notch. Which should be more than enough for most to enjoy.


  • Carl Fisher

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Hall (2020)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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