tek's rating: ¾

The Hollow Child (not rated)
Broken Mirror Films; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; Vudu; YouTube

So, I gather this was released in 2017 in Canada, and 2018 in the US. I'm just totally guessing that it was a theatrical film and not originally released on VOD. I'm not sure when I first heard of it, but I watched it on Amazon in 2023 after at least a few years of vaguely wanting to check it out. I'm listing it under "folk horror", though I'm not 100% comfortable with that. I just don't really know where else to put it. I thought it was an okay movie, and I'm glad I've finally seen it, but it's not something I'd ever feel the need to see again.

The movie begins 30 years ago, when a girl named Alison is playing hide and seek with her younger sister, Janie, who hides in the woods. Janie disappears, only to reappear a few days later. But eventually Alison burns down her house, believing the Janie who came back wasn't the real Janie.

In the present, there's a teenage foster kid named Samantha, who is currently living with Liz and Garrett and their young daughter Olivia. Sam also has a best friend named Emily, and there's a guy named Logan who is obviously interested in Sam, though for now he's just a friend (if that). I should probably mention that Sam has self-inflicted cut marks all over her arms, which she keeps hidden. And while Liz (who was adopted, herself) is eager to make things work with Sam, Garrett isn't really onboard with the whole foster parent thing. It gets worse when one day Sam is supposed to be walking Olivia home from school, but she goes off with Emily and leaves Olivia to walk home by herself. Olivia disappears into the woods, for which Garrett blames Sam. But a few days later, Olivia reappears at home. Before long, Sam starts noticing Olivia isn't quite right, and one day Alison confronts Sam and Olivia, saying that Olivia isn't what she seems. Later, Sam seeks out Alison to get answers about Olivia, and she's accompanied by Logan, who doesn't really believe all that Alison has to say. But Sam is determined to find the real Olivia and expose the one living at home as some kind of woodland monster that has disguised itself as Olivia.

And... I guess that's all I want to say about the plot. It's reasonably scary, or at least disturbing, in some parts. And the whole situation is fraught with tension. Bad things happen. But it's not a bad story. It's just not really great. I do think all the acting was decent. And the imposter Olivia makes for an okay creepy kid. So, it was worth the watch.

folk horror index