Director/Photography – Jonathan Zaurin, Screenplay – Keith Temple, Producer – Sarah Zaurin, Music – Michael Sanchez, Special Effects – Ben Errington, Production Design – Michael Coombes & Mark Stewart. Production Company – Solo Productions Ltd/LBS Films/Alpha Dog Productions.
Pat Garrett (Beth), Pete Bird (Connor), Ellie Jeffreys (Jess), Keith Temple (Ken), Emily Lane (Alison), Ben Manning (Morris), Ayvianna Snow (Young Beth), Michael Coombes (Mr Punch), Pablo Raybould (Frank)
Conner and Jess persuade her grandmother Beth to financially pitch in with them to buy a house in the Herefordshire area. Beth talks to people that may not be there. Connor and Jess believe she might be suffering dementia but Beth is insistent that she is not. What they are not aware is that one of Beth’s friends is a killer lurking inside the house.
Wyvern Hill, repackaged as Hollow, was a debut film for British director Jonathan Zaurin, who had previously made assorted short films.
There is something undeniably promising in what Jonathan Zaurin sets out to do with Wyvern Hill but the film suffers from an unclear presentation. The central premise of an elderly person dealing with a tangible threat and trying to prove it is not dementia has potential – a similar idea was present around the same time in Curse of Humpty Dumpty (2021).
I was also reminded of The Pact (2012), a horror film where Caity Lotz realises a killer is living inside their house. There is the ever so WTF moment where we assume Pat Garrett has been talking to and cuddling up to someone who is in her imagination and then an actual person sits up and gets out of the bed.
Exactly who the other person in the house is is not clear – they seem to also have a dungeon where they are torturing people so you keep wondering where in the house there is room for this. Jonathan Zaurin gets in a couple of decent shocks and jolts with the killer attacking people.
The biggest problem the film has is a very confusing timeframe where it is not entirely clear whether things are happening consecutively or it is flipping between present and past. In some scenes, we even get Ruth talking to a younger version of herself. This is a film that would have been served no end by a far better editor. As it is, you are constantly wondering what is going on and why things are happening.
Even the end of the film fails to clarify much with some reference to Ruth raising the mythological wyvern, where it appears she is dealing with a supernatural creature as opposed to a physical serial killer as the rest of the film seems to give the impression it is.