The Movie Waffler Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - HALLOWED GROUND | The Movie Waffler

Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - HALLOWED GROUND

hallowed ground review
A couple's trip to a secluded cabin turns to terror.

Review by Michael Vaughn

hallowed ground poster

Directed by: Miles Deleac

Written by: Miles Deleac

Starring: Sherri Eakin, Lindsay Anne Williams, Jeremy Sande, Ritchie Montgomery, Mindy Van Kuren, Miles Deleac

Uncork'd Entertainment

Sadly, the horror genre is notorious for, let's say, not always treating the LGTBQ group kindly. Either we had to hide in subtext like the over the top Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) or, if we are represented, it's either as a villain or killed off or frankly just ignored altogether.

hallowed ground review

Lately, things seem to be getting slightly better with visibility with Jenn Wexler's The Ranger (2018), which in my mind, is the only horror movie to feature a gay couple without calling attention to it, but rather treating them like any other couple. So, I was pretty excited to hear of Hallowed Ground, which not only tackles two lesbian women in a horror movie but also blends Native American lore, which I find pretty interesting.

Married couple Vera (Sherri Eakin) and Alice (Lindsay Anne Williams) are going through a rocky patch as Alice cheated on Vera with an ultra-sleazy photographer named Thatcher (Jeremy Sande). They decide to rent a secluded cabin to repair their relationship. However, they just so happen to anger an evil cult and awaken a blood feud between two peoples.

hallowed ground review

Hallowed Ground starts as a pot boiler with the two married women trying to deal with their broken marriage and trying to find common ground. The film wisely plays with the theme of intolerance in the form of how the Native Americans are treated and nicely ties into Vera’s back story of growing up gay in the South. The film tries to add complexity with the drama; however it feels very forced, with some awkward writing that isn’t quite strong enough to get the message across without coming off cheesy.

I will give Hallowed Ground some points however for having the stones to blend a gay relationship drama with a murderous cult, but it misses the mark. Glossing over some Lifetime Network style melodrama, the film is plagued with plot holes and plot conveniences. It also doesn’t help that the cult is more laughable than scary. Mandy showed us how to make a pretty creepy cult, however bright red robes and deer antler head gear just make it hard to take this lot seriously.

hallowed ground review

On a more positive note, locations are great with fine camera work and overall decent acting. I have said time and time again; horror is hard enough to pull off but horror mixed with drama is even harder and Hallowed Ground is a novel attempt at tackling subjects oft ignored in the horror community, but it sadly misses the mark. I was hoping for a weird, maybe even surreal, Hammer horror style atmospheric lesbian classic; however, what we get is a slightly more ‘ground’ed take on the cult horror sub genre.

Hallowed Ground is on VOD/DVD June 11th.

Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcastnamed their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”

His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @castle_anger.