Film Review: The Hollow

This overheated Southern-fried crime thriller was maybe left out in the sun too long to cool off.
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A mysterious triple homicide, featuring a congressman's daughter (Jessy Hughes), brings a decidedly less than crack investigative FBI team to a small, rural Mississippi town in The Hollow. Troubled, alcoholic chief agent Vaughn Killinger (James Callis) and his partner on the force and, off and on, in life, Sarah DeSoto (Christine Seidel) question everyone they can in this very suspicious burg, including crusty lawyer John Dawson (William Forsythe), whose grandson may have intimately known one of the victims. They also come up against the corrupt local police force, led by the weak-ish Sheriff McKinney (William Sadler), who lets deputy sheriff Ray Everett (Miles Doleac) get away with all kinds of unseemly shenanigans, including the crystal meth dealing that has him consorting with all the town lowlifes.

Doleac, who also wrote and directed this, seems bent on outdoing “Breaking Bad,” as well as various efforts of the Coen Brothers and David Lynch, plus Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, for mordant and druggy, crime-ridden rural creepiness. He lays on the redneck menace of the townspeople and their rotten-to-the-core ungodliness with a trowel. If you are prepared for an overall basic predictability and “colorful” one-dimensional characters regularly making their appearances to have their one-dimensional say throughout—with the men trying to outdo one another in terms of gruff, good-ole-boy machismo—one can rather enjoy watching all the drawled menace being hammily played out, with a fittingly ultra-violent end.

The presence of a passel of strong women in the cast helps immeasurably. I kept having to blink at Seidel, to make sure she wasn’t Amy Adams, and Candice Michelle Barley as Ray’s wife makes a brief but vivid impression.

Editor's note: The original text of this review misidentified an actress in the film. We apologize for the error.

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