By: MARIAM BASTANI
Starring Guisela Moro, Steven Daron, with special appearance by Burt Reynolds
Written and directed by Guisela Moro
First Edge Films
With the tagline, “Survival is Running out of Time,” one would expect Hollow Creek to be a fast paced who dunnit. The pace is fast, then slow, then medium then slow, then fast… Clocking at at almost two hours, the film is mostly crawl over sprint. But the problem isn’t the editing, it’s the writing.
Hollow Creek is a heavily Stephen King influenced thriller/mystery about an adulterous couple Blake Blackman (Steve Daron) and Angelica Santoro (Guisela Moro), who head to a remote cabin for a romantic getaway while Blake works on his new horror novel. They learn of several child abductions in the area and that’s when things go awry. There are real-life themes with a sprinkling of the supernatural and the town in the movie is even called Castlerock, but the writing fails to balance all the elements and themes it wants to include in the story. This movie just tries to cover too much ground. Is it a thriller? Is this about abduction? Is this about deranged country folk? Is this about the moral pitfalls of adultery? Is this a ghost story? The plot has multiple competing elements, conspicuously missing details and disjointed transitions, ultimately causing the pace to suffer. Much like the pace, Hollow Creek is inconsistent with the quality of dialogue – sometimes right on and sometimes a total miss. Burt Reynolds gets the most dramatic chunk of the writing and he delivers it the best he can, but even Burt can’t save this movie.
The shining moments in Hollow Creek come from it’s obvious femme viewpoint. The women characters have the most depth, even when their screen time is momentary. The parts that hold my attention are ones centered around motherhood, not because I can relate, but because they seemed the most developed, complex and compelling. The writer, director, lead actress, Guisela Moro obviously has something to say and here is where her writing shines.
Overall, Hollow Creek does not deliver the thrills expected and the compelling elements are far too short. To be fair, if the plot lines I enjoy were the bulk of the movie, this would not remotely be classified as horror, which in my opinion it barely is now. Hollow Creek is a thriller with too many themes that have been often used in horror more effectively and a few moments of CGI. No doubt, disappearing children is terrifying, but Hollow Creek is just not scary. This movie is perfect watching for middle-class suburban soccer moms. It’s like a tv rendition of a true crime story as a soap opera with some ghosts and fucked up families mixed in. Don’t misunderstand me though, I mean no disrespect, because everyone needs a thrill, even soccer moms.