A Good But Unremarkable Thriller
Although Hollow In The Land manages to entertain throughout its 90 minute run time, its also largely forgettable. Part mystery, part detective noir, Hollow is a film that manages to tick all the expected boxes, but never innovates beyond the standards of this genre. Set in a sleepy mountainous town and filmed predominantly through a steady camera following lead protagonist Alison (Dianna Agron), there’s certainly an intimacy within Hollow but the largely unremarkable story throws up little in the way of surprise or innovation.
After their dad is locked up in prison for murder, the Millers, Alison and Brandon (Jared Abrahamson) are ostracised from the tight-knit society and struggle to maintain normality in their lives. When one of the community is killed and Brandon goes missing, he becomes public enemy number 1 and the police launch an investigation to find and arrest him. Unconvinced, Alison launches a one-woman crusade to try and find out what happened and save her brother from being wrongfully arrested. The story itself is paced well, albeit a little slow at times, but it generally manages to maintain an air of mystery throughout.
The endearing nature of Hollow In The Land is largely thanks to an excellent performance from Dianna Agron who elevates what’s otherwise a run of the mill thriller. It helps too that the camera stays transfixed on her for vast periods of the film, with steady camera shots from the back and front dominating much of the film. Beyond the uniquely shot scenes, there really isn’t much to Hollow that hasn’t been done better elsewhere. There’s little in the way of twists and the ones that are included during the third act are largely superficial. A distinct lack of characterisation early on toward troubled Brandon makes it difficult to really get behind Alison on her crusade into the murder and the subsequent disappearance of her brother.
Although Hollow In The Land is unlikely to turn many heads, its still an enjoyable ride and manages to maintain a good level of intrigue throughout its run time. Whilst the unremarkable ending and poor characterisation for Brandon does hurt the lasting appeal of this sleepy thriller, the intimate way its shot does help Hollow In The Land stand out. There are echoes of the old detective noir style that spill into the plot and even if the film never really achieves anything of significance, it still manages to entertain.