THE HOLLOW is the new murder mystery drama written, produced, and directed by Miles Doleac. This two hour long feature brings together some great talent, an intriguing story about small town corruption, and characters with issues.
Watching THE HOLLOW is like watching a police investigation procedural happening in real-time with regards to the film’s pacing. The director could have easily shaved off a half-hour of this movie to speed up the plot. While the initial homicides take place within the first 10 minutes of the film, the entire lead up to the actual investigation eats up another 20 minutes of screen time. It’s nice to get to know the characters, their motivations, and about the double lives some of them lead, but I, as the audience, just want to get to the point where the plot moves forward, and that’s something THE HOLLOW has a hard time doing. Just because you have a complicated plot, it doesn’t mean that the story, or your characters, are deep.
Visually the movie looks great and they definitely took their time getting the look and feel of small town Mississippi correct, and the demeanor of a close-knit community down tonally without everyone acting like a Stepford wife or body snatched pod person. The score compliments the tone of the film scene by scene.
THE HOLLOW has a very recognizable plot and includes characters that, at first glance, also seem familiar to every episode of a homicide show on television. While the film walks a fine line that almost teeters several times into overused tropes, it never fully goes over and is just original enough to be interesting. Most of that has to do with the actors stepping up and immersing themselves in their roles. James Callis and Christiane Seidel have good scenes together and the chemistry between them as both partners and lovers works for the story. Miles Doleac plays a fantastic corrupt sheriff’s deputy with just the right amount of sass, confidence, and mindfulness; a great asshole. The rest of the cast provides a solid platform for the main characters to really stretch chew the scenery in their roles.
There’s a lot of filler in THE HOLLOW that doesn’t directly contribute to the resolution, the “triple homicide in a small town” gives the director a lot of leeway into which direction he could go story-wise, and in fact nails certain aspects of parts of the story that deal with legacy, guilt, and righteousness. Doleac himself thrives as a scumbag in a town teaming with scumbags, but he could have just as easily had been the main villain of the piece. William Forsythe, as the main baddie Big John Dawson has some of the best lines, delivered in a slow drawl that makes him come off both sinister at times, and learned in others.
THE HOLLOW Review
FILM SYNOPSIS - When a U.S. congressman's daughter passing through a small town in Mississippi dies in a mysterious triple homicide, a team of F.B.I. agents descends to investigate, the team's brilliant but jaded lead agent battling demons both past and present, as his beautiful, tough-as-nails partner tries to hold him and the case together. They find a struggling and corrupt sheriff's department, a shadowy and much-feared figure, who seems to be pulling all of the town's strings from his mansion on the edge of town and a local victim with a strange connection to a number of the town's most prominent figures.