SEPTEMBER 28, 2007
Last night I got home and found a release copy of Hallowed Ground in the mail. I didn’t request it to review, so I have no idea why they sent it to me, but they are going to wish they hadn’t.
Actually it’s not THAT bad. It’s in fact the 5th best horror movie I’ve watched this week!
Like just about every other killer scarecrow movie, it’s just fucking stupid. The chick from Rest Stop (a movie I hate as much as Dark Ride, yet never remember to bash it as much as I should) finds herself once again stranded, though at least here she is slightly likeable, whereas in Rest Stop I wanted her to be beaten to death with a brick before she even got to the damn rest stop. And as luck would have it, she’s stranded in one of those movie towns where everyone is suspicious of her because she’s not from around there. Before long, she’s being stalked by a scarecrow and then the rest of the town as well, who thinks she is the “Chosen One” who will birth a child that will revive the town’s founder, who was killed by their own ancestors. Makes sense to me.
Call it irony, or call it just stupid, but the fact remains: scarecrows aren’t scary. And the writer of the film gave up any chance of it being suspenseful by not giving it another character to care about (the only other one, a reporter with the biggest teeth I’ve ever seen, is killed like 15 minutes in). It’s not like there’s any chance in hell Liz is gonna die, so the endless scenes of her being chased around cornfields and such are devoid of any of the intended effect.
Nick Chinlund is also in the film. You might remember him from Riddick or Con Air. He’s a great tough guy actor (he’s my only choice to play Fenix in the Gears of War movie), so it’s a damnable shame to see him so totally wasted here, playing the town’s founder. He wisely checks out after two or three scenes, hopefully because he was busy making a film that didn’t waste him. The only other recognizable actor in the cast is Brian McNamara (that fonzanoon!), as the town Sheriff who is from the big city and thus doesn’t share the town’s beliefs (how did he get elected Sheriff then?). But no one else really sticks out. Hilariously, there’s a scene of an out of place extra giving Liz a ridiculously extended dirty look, and I said “Hey there, director’s daughter!” But I was wrong. It was the producer’s daughter.
The movie also betrays its one halfway decent chill – the sight of blood on a minivan that we knew contained a family. But not too surprisingly, only the parents died, the little kid managed to escape. Not enough movies have the balls to kill kids off onscreen, but if you can’t even bring yourself to kill one offscreen, you have no business making horror movies! However, this extends the idiotic plot thread of the kid’s doll. When Liz first sees it, she calls it a “tranny” (?), apparently because the doll’s sex is unclear. Then later she finds it in the cornfield, and puts it in her jacket pocket for no real reason other than to help the girls bond later. Then, the little girl tears its head off and uses the body as a sort of PlaySkool Molotov cocktail. And then 5 minutes later, the doll resurfaces, head intact, and decidedly NOT on fire. Jesus.
Whatever, movie. And thanks for nothing, whoever decided to send it to me. And for good measure, fuck you, Rest Stop.
What say you?