Hollower (2016)

Hollower is a prequel to Slasher House by MJ Dixon. We enjoyed it as a standalone feature on Amazon Prime.

MJ Dixon (aka Mycho Entertainment) is known for a franchise called the Mychoverse, which comprises Slasher House, Slasher House 2, and various spin-offs. At the time of writing, there are nine movies in total, but we made a cheeky beeline for this one. It’s a prequel to Slasher House, which we haven’t seen, but we tried it in isolation and found it worked perfectly well.

Hollower uses the framing device of a police interview. Nathan (played by Adam Dillon) has clearly done something bad. Sitting opposite is Detective James Miller, or none other than B-movie legend Nicholas Vince (aka the Chatterer cenobite!) without his teeth in.

Through flashbacks, we learn that Nathan had a love interest called Isabelle, played by Becca Talulah. Their scenes feel like a romantic comedy, made complicated (and charming) by his acute agoraphobia. Sadly, we keep switching back to Detective Miller, whose demeanour makes us think she might be dead. We slowly learn how it ended, and that’s the film in a nutshell.

I was engrossed by Hollower. It’s a really good example of what you can do with a small budget and clever choices. There are only two sets, but more would be weird; the film not only works on a small stage but actively demands one, because it’s the story of an agoraphobe in police detention. I often say the best budget movies live within their means, and this is a great example of what that looks like.

In terms of storytelling, Dixon makes fantastic use of tonal shifts, bouncing between the flashbacks (which are generally upbeat) and the suffocating gloom of the interview room. The effect is mesmerising rather than messy. In the police station, a ticking clock is used to great effect, creating a mounting sense of urgency. We know something will happen at the end of the interview, but what?

The film was made on a low budget, and, to be fair, it does show a bit. For instance: I found some of the mumbling hard to make out. Despite this, the direction is very stylish, and Dixon knows how to build tension. In addition, he shows real versatility in the lighter scenes, making them work equally well. I give Hollower a big thumbs-up and look forward to more films from Mycho Entertainment. (In fact, this one is currently free for Prime members, so give it a watch and leave your comments below.)

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