A comely young lady is stalked by a crossbow carrying maniac after she pulls over for gas at a seemingly deserted gas station. Seems like any stalk n’ slay flick, but this is a simulation that a person can enter when the buy a slasher-centric virtual reality experience where they can opt to be the killer du jour offered by the beautiful Brenna Brolin (voice actress extraordinaire Elizabeth Maxwell) in her start-up venture.
Enter businessman Peter Benjamin (Jose Barajas who also directed the picture) who Brenna hopes will play her game and offer up some much needed support to the project. Eventually, Pete decides to try out the simulation, against the initial objections of his half-brother John (Harold Fisch), and before long begins living out a slasher flick fiend’s wet dream. unfortunately all is not as it seems with the game and it’s devs, and soon John uncovers some serious dirt
Hollow Scream is a fun one boils n’ ghouls! It takes the tried and true slasher flick, and offers us something new with the whole virtual reality experience being added into the mix. It’s the type of genre bending material that only our beloved independent horror cinema would attempt, and director Barajas (along with screenwriter David L. Carter) presents this high concept in an effective manner, budget be damned.
Now, this flick looks great, and is well acted (with Maxwell and Fisch the stand-outs in the performance department), but the real kudos go to the innovative narrative that makes great use of limited sets and locations while providing something unique and smart on the same kind of budget your run-of-the-mill Friday the 13th clone has at their disposal.
All is not perfection with this picture though, as I feel to really sell the vibe the filmmakers were going for the flick should have featured a tad more of the ol’ red sauce splashed about. Slasher flicks were made or broken on the strength of their memorable kills, and this film could have benefited from a few more of those (though what does appear on screen is serviceable enough).
If you are looking for an enjoyable and creative take on the whole stalk n’ slay bag then you need to slap your putrid peepers on Hollow Scream; it’s proof you can teach an ol’ demon dog some new terror tricks!
Hollow Scream releases on October 27th, 2020 on:
iTunes / Apple TV