The title of “The Hallow” refers not to a place, but to the vicious supernatural beings who inhabit a lush Irish forest. Into this initially peaceful paradise come Adam and Claire (Joseph Mawle and Bojana Novakovic) and their new baby, following the money offered to Adam, a tree expert, by a logging company wishing to survey its latest acquisition.
Almost immediately, the creep-outs begin. An angry neighbor warns them to stay out of the woods; a deer carcass, its throat extruding strange talons and an inky goo, is found deep among the trees. The same black sludge is dripping from the couple’s attic, and a specimen that Adam retrieves from the deer contains a parasitic fungus whose alarming behavior may remind you of one of the more icky sequences of the BBC’s “Planet Earth.”
Mr. Hardy, however, would rather busy himself with reminders of earlier creature features, among them a book that mimics the deadly ledger from the “Evil Dead” franchise. Luckily, John Nolan’s old-school effects are wicked good, and Martijn van Broekhuizen’s mossy photography is pleasingly sinister. If they both show up for the sequel that’s teased after the