Saturday, October 26, 2013

In short: Hallowed Ground (2007)

Designated heroine Liz (Jaimie Alexander) probably didn't expect running away from the death of her child in the traditional American way of driving westward would lead her to a little town whose inhabitants are members of a cult that takes her to be the baby mother of the rebirth of their sainted a-century-dead evil murdering-through-scarecrow-crucifixion favourite preacher. Nor that she'd have to fight off not just mad cultists but also a possessed scarecrow. But there you have it.

And while this sounds all kinds of awesome (though pretty stupid), David Benullo's resulting film is just a bit okay, the sort of middling horror film that doesn't dare go too far in any direction. So Hallowed Ground is a bit weird but not Weird; it's a bit bloody but never really gory; it's slightly cheesy but never goes all out. It is - in brief - the sort of film clearly produced by people with decent technical abilities yet no visible affinity to what horror movies are good at or good for, or just lacking the ability to bring that affinity on screen. Even the walking scarecrow - generally something that should automatically be at least slightly creepy - just misses the mark, as if Benullo just couldn't quite grasp what makes a walking scarecrow creepy instead of just a guy dressed up like a scarecrow.

Hallowed Ground isn't quite apathetic enough to be called boring or to annoy me but it is so middling in, well, everything I have a hard time finding any reason for it to exist at all.

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