Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

The Hallow

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

The Hallow

Article excerpt

(2015)

Directed by Corin Hardy

The Hallow is an atypical horror genre film that touches on folklore and science to give us a terrifying view of reality; what if the stories of folkloric devils and gremlins are actually based on scientific truths? Set in Ireland, The Hallow tells the story of a haunted forest and the creatures that once lived within it, creatures that continue to instill fear in the locals who live there.

A London conservationist moves with his family to survey an ancient forest, and finds "ophiocordyceps unilateralis," a fungus that is often found in tropical forests. Also known as the "zombie fungus," it infects ants and controls their behaviors, manipulating them to further spread the fungus, until they eventually die. Once the ant is dead, the fungus continues to grow and reproduce. In The Hallow, the tree specialist Adam (Joseph Mawle) finds this fungus growing out of the head of a dead deer and takes it home to further analyze it. His wife Claire (Bojana Novakovic) stays at home and cares for their young baby son, Finn, but is plagued by a neighbour who continually warns her that their baby is unsafe as long as Adam continues entering the forest. The neighbour, Colm Donnelly, is the first link to the truth of what lies in the forest; he has lost his own daughter to the Hallow, because the forest belongs to the Hallow, creatures that had been driven out of their land by conquerors using iron and fire. Only with the mythical swords of old, forged from fire and iron, can one truly defeat the Hallow. But "if you trespass upon them, they will trespass upon you!"

It is the untouched forest that until now has remained hallowed (yet unholy) ground, but the Hallow, if disturbed, will take children from their parents. …

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