Starring: Miles Doleac, Ritchie Montgomery, Sherri Eakin
Director: Miles Doleac
Writer: Miles Doleac
Studio: Uncork’d Distribution
“None of the reviews mention the creep factor around here.”
Hallowed Ground follows married couple Vera (Sherri Eaken) and Alice (Lindsay Anne Williams) as they travel to a secluded cabin. Their relationship has been troubled since Alice’s affair, and they hope that a romantic getaway will help to repair their love and trust in each other. The cabin in which they are staying is on Native American land, and, unfortunately the women stumble (quite literally) into a blood feud with the neighbors, the Barhams.
The one thing they are told not to do is cross the property line. Curious, dumb humans that we are, however, our two lovers are led precisely to the property line. Long story short: a kiss leads to a slip leads to a hand cut on the barbed-wire fence. Now the women and their guest — the man (Thatcher Vance, played by Jeremy Sande) in which Alice cheated on Vera with decides to show up (!) — can’t leave because they “belong” to the Barhams due to a historic pact. The Barhams (a clan led by Bill Barham, played by the writer/director Miles Doleac) are basically what you’d expect if you imagine a group of people who live in isolation and have a thing for family heirlooms, red robes, and trespassers.
Hallowed Ground is a weird, fairly predictable movie — one that had me asking far too many practical questions. For example, how did they find this cabin? Was it an Air B&B and no one happened to mention that there was a strong possibility of death by cult? Is it just coincidence that Vera is a professor of Native American mythology? How is everyone seemingly okay with the fact that Alice is still in contact with Thatcher and that he just randomly shows up? How on earth are Alice and Vera a couple without any chemistry whatsoever? Admittedly, these might seem like petty concerns. But I want a horror movie to pull me into that full suspension-of-belief mode. I don’t want to be stressed about whether this cabin is on Air B&B; you feel me?
Neither the writing nor the acting were terrible, but they weren’t great either. Everyone felt very stiff, like they were reading dialogue and just on auto-pilot. The camerawork was fine, but can we please talk about the bizarre fuzzy ’80s-style flashback scenes that treated their affair like a glam-rock music video? Like much else about this film, it raised more questions about the creative team’s odd choices than anything about the plot itself.
Hallowed Ground will be in select theaters June 7, 2019, and releasing on VOD/DVD June 11.