HOLLOW IN THE LAND (Scooter Corkle). 92 minutes. Opens Friday (January 26). See listing. Rating: NNHey, remember Winters Bone? That.
HOLLOW IN THE LAND (Scooter Corkle). 92 minutes. Opens Friday (January 26). See listing. Rating: NN
Hey, remember Winters Bone? That was a pretty good movie, with Jennifer Lawrence playing a poor Ozarks teen running around in search of her missing father. Scooter Corkles Hollow In The Land is almost a photocopy of Debra Graniks Oscar-nominated sleeper, switching out the socioeconomic insight for a simplistic murder mystery in small-town British Columbia.
Here, a slightly older woman Alison, played by Glees Dianna Agron is trying to find her teenage brother, whos gone missing after his girlfriends father turns up dead. The kids a hothead, and kind of an asshole, but Alison doesnt think hes a murderer. The police have other opinions, and so Alison sets off to clear his name by hunting down the real killer.
Agron gives a solid, no-bullshit performance as the terse Alison again, not too far removed from Lawrences short-fused Ree but director Corkles script is simultaneously overplotted and underwritten, with long stretches of time spent following his hero as she stomps from one location to the next because thats how Winters Bone played out.
And whenever the story is in danger of stalling out, Corkle just has Alison stumble upon a fresh corpse, which starts to push credulity as does Alisons ability to find transportation pretty much anywhere she turns once her car is impounded by the cops.
The actors do their best to keep things going. Shawn Ashmore is nicely frustrated as a sympathetic cop friend of Alisons, Hello Destroyer breakout Jared Abrahamson is well cast as her impulsive teenage brother and Rachelle Lefevre tries hard to flesh out a clumsy supporting role as Alisons confidant.
But the plot is so unnecessarily complicated as to be almost incomprehensible, involving at least three unrelated stories that crash into one another out of pure contrivance.
You have to be a really talented storyteller to pull that off, and Hollow In The Land suggests that Corkle has a ways to go on that account.