Hallowed Be Thy Name Image

Hallowed Be Thy Name begins with two kids searching for a cave that is rumored to grant wishes. The person making the wish must leave an offering. However, if someone were to take something from the cave without leaving an item, they’ll be killed by a supernatural entity. Such a fate befalls the pre-teen brothers inside the cave.

This beginning is horrible. The dialogue is all stilted exposition. The actors speed through the lines in a flat, listless delivery. This means the monotonous, wooden acting is doing the already shaky screenplay no favors. Even worse is how clunky things are. One of them, the older of the two, picks up a paper with a wish written on it for no real reason. It is a nonsensical decision that is so confusing it can’t be chalked up to youthful stupidity.

If anyone turned off Hallowed Be Thy Name immediately after those kids are killed, justified though it might seem, then they missed out on an overall pretty good, gruesome little horror flick. Problems still abound, but the end product winds up being a fantastic calling card for writer-director Taylor Ri’chard.

The movie’s primary focus is on 17-year-old Devin (Collin Shephard), who is transplanted to rural Louisiana, with his mom (Fiona McQuinn), after his parents’ divorce. While not happy about the move, he does accept it. During his first day of school, Devin meets the well-meaning Mick (Bryen Lenis) and the impulsive Skylar (Alissa Shaye Hale). Skylar convinces her best friend, and the new one, to go to the wishing cave with her, though under false pretenses. Once there, she leaves her offering and makes a wish. She proceeds to take a sword to give to her on-again, off-again boyfriend.

“…the trio finds themselves hunted by the malevolent spirit of Cauchemar…”

Mick takes a teddy bear to give to Devin, as he has developed a little bit of a crush. Devin does enter the cave but does not make a wish, leave something behind, or take anything. Soon after exiting, the trio finds themselves hunted by the malevolent spirit of Cauchemar (Bill Barnett), who is out for blood. Now, they must either return all the items stolen or find a way to put the apparition to rest.

The biggest issues with Hallowed Be Thy Name, excluding the prologue, are how it rushes through everything and plot holes. And this isn’t a short film, running roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes. That isn’t to imply that the film feels padded or overly long as it moves at quite a brisk pace. Mick helps Devin open his locker, just before Skylar and Jude have a very loud, extremely public break up (again). After asking if she’s okay, they invite their new friend to have lunch with them. He accepts, and it’s here that Skylar mentions the cave. Mick is not all that interested in going, which annoys Skylar. Devin has no idea what she is talking about and is also not keen to go.

She gets mad at both of them and storms off. Nevermind that Devin has the perfect out. This is not just his first day at school, but also his first full day in town. He has to unpack, do homework, and generally get a sense of his new surroundings. It is perfectly reasonable that he does not want to do much socializing, for let’s say, one week. This random lady, who he just met, getting angry at Devin for not wanting to waste his day searching for a cave, feels hollow.

Hallowed Be Thy Name (2020)

Directed and Written: Taylor Ri'chard

Starring: Collin Shephard, Alissa Shaye Hale, Bryen Lenis, Fiona McQuinn, Bill Barrett, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Hallowed Be Thy Name Image

"…would love to see a 2-hour extended cut..."

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