Daily Archives: January 9, 2021

Cinema Saturday, 1/9/21

Hollows Grove

Year: 2014
Runtime: 1h 21m
Rated: R

Director: Craig Efros

Writer: Craig Efros

Stars: Matthew Carey, Sunkrish Bala, Bresha Webb, Matt Doherty, Lance Henriksen

Initial: If I have a “guilty” pleasure, it’s Ghost Hunters-type TV shows. This movie riffs on those.

What Did I Think: (may include spoilers)
Hollows Grove isn’t a bad movie. It does pretty much what it sets out to do—a ghost-hunting team that relies on set-up scares meets actual, vengeful ghosts. But it doesn’t really try to reach beyond fairly mundane scares. The young cast of characters starts off almost aggressively annoying, but I did warm to most of them before they are picked off in the second half. I almost wish the first third of the movie would have been an episode of their show, to better illustrate how the characters work together, before showing how it goes entirely wrong when the ghost come into play.

Not great, but if you’re looking for a movie to fill hours during a Halloween movie-a-thon, you could do worse.


Network

Year: 1976
Runtime: 2h 1m
Rated: R

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writers: Paddy Chayefsky

Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch

“…this tube is the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people…”

Initial: One of those 70s movies that I knew by reputation, but had never watched.

Production Notes: Peter Finch, who plays the doomed Howard Beale, died of a heart attack several months after the movie’s debut. He was nominated and won an Oscar for the role posthumously.

What Did I Think: (may include spoilers)
Sometimes, satire doesn’t seem so far off from reality… While I don’t think we’ve ever gotten to on-air suicides or homicides, much has been done for the sake of ratings and clicks. I seriously wonder sometimes about our appetite for true crime stories.

Yes, well-written and well-acted, but I’m never one for, even in satire, pessimism regarding forms of media. And the late 70s were filled with this kind of pessimism about television. And we’re seeing some of the same now about the internet/social media. I’m also not thrilled with the main “villain” of the piece being female. The end of this movie kind of ends up being a bunch of middle-aged men shaking their heads at Faye Dunaway’s character and saying, “If only she had a heart… If only things were like they were in the olden days (before ambitious young women)…”