Into The Woods

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15 | 97 min­utes

Direc­tor Corin Hardy

Cast Joseph Mawle, Bo­jana

No­vakovic, Michael smi­ley

There’s al­ways an old book, isn’t there? Any time peo­ple head out to an in­ad­vis­ably re­mote lo­ca­tion, there’s al­ways a dog-eared old book handy to ex­plain to them why they re­ally shouldn’t have come. Here, it’s a mas­sive tome of Ir­ish mythol­ogy that tips off tree sur­geon Adam Hitchens (Joseph Mawle) and his fam­ily that it’s not just their neigh­bours who re­sent their pres­ence.

The fric­tion be­tween city types and a ru­ral com­mu­nity is noth­ing new in hor­ror, and nei­ther is the idea of a fam­ily in peril in their own home. But The Hal­low stands out by be­ing re­lent­lessly ter­ri­fy­ing. Right from the be­gin­ning, it’s ob­vi­ous some­thing’s afoot, and by the half­way mark the mon­ster’s shown its face. From then on, it’s one breath­lessly scary su­per­nat­u­ral en­counter af­ter an­other. There’s no mess­ing about, and though a pos­si­ble sci­en­tific ex­pla­na­tion is mooted, it’s soon brushed aside in the face of the mon­sters.

Okay, maybe not enough time is spent on de­vel­op­ing the main char­ac­ters, but they’re well-sketched enough that the fi­nal reel’s dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions feel le­git­i­mately gut-wrench­ing. The Hal­low might be an Ir­ish fairy­tale, but it’s not one you’d want to read at bed­time. Sarah Dobbs

Corin Hardy bagged him­self a job di­rect­ing the re­boot of The Crow off the back of a rough cut of this movie.

Maybe next time get a babysit­ter.

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