The total lack of originality in Hollows Grove hurts it. It hurts it really bad. This isn’t just bemoaning the fact that it’s just another paranormal horror. Rather bemoaning the fact that it’s just another paranormal horror with a film crew in yet another abandoned building where bad things happened.
It’s such an incredibly tired story and Hollows Grove does nothing new with it. If you want to see a movie like this, check out the fair superior Grave Encounters. At least that is actually frightening.
A found-footage horror with far better production then most. Hollows Grove tells the story of the paranormal investigation team, S.P.I.T. (Spirit Paranormal Investigation Team).
The footage we’re watching was shot during an episode. Jumping between that footage and footage captured by a cameraman who was accompanying them to film a documentary.
S.P.I.T. is a fake show masquerading as a real one, this is revealed early on when the effects man is introduced (Lance Henriksen). He will be setting up some ‘scares’ at the teams next investigation, Hollows Grove. A former orphanage and hospital where they are warned away from by the caretaker.
Of course, they don’t believe in ghosts so ignore his warning and start their investigation. Cue spooky noises, lights going off, doors opening and so on. They think it’s just their effects man trying to freak them out, but they’ll find out that Hollows Grove is more haunted than they could ever know.
How incredibly boring is that synopsis? It’s literally a cut and copy of so many films before it. The sheer laziness of this offering is actually kind of infuriating and the lack of creativity, unacceptable. Simply put, if this is all you can do then you shouldn’t be making films.
With around 20 minutes left (if you haven’t turned it off already), the situation gets ramped up as the filmmakers realise what they’re witnessing is real. This could have been exciting if there was anyone to actually like here but there isn’t. A bunch of charlatans taking advantage of people. Who cares if they live or die?
The only innocent one is the documentary filmmaker but he is mostly a faceless character with no characteristics. He’s there to hold the camera and, infuriatingly, film way past the point of sense. Yes, it’s one of those movies.
It’s such a shame too because as found footage horrors go, it’s competently filmed and way less jarring than most. The effects are decent and there is even the occasional good sequence (such as the window jump/pull).
None of that matters though because Hollows Grove is such a lazy and tired offering, it’s not one to be recommended.
The Final Score - 3/10