Blood in the Snow 2020: Our Review of ‘Hall’

Posted in BITS 2020, Festival Coverage, Movies, What's Streaming? by - October 29, 2020
Blood in the Snow 2020: Our Review of ‘Hall’

Co-written and directed by Francesco Giannini, Hall follows Val (Carolina Bartczak), a wife and mother caught in an abusive relationship. When she and her family stop in a hotel on a road trip, they soon realize that other guests are falling victim to a debilitating sickness. As a few of the infected attempt to fight for survival, Val must try to take her daughter and escape both her husband and the terrifying pandemic.

With an engaging premise but faulty execution, Hall is both an intriguing and frustrating film that doesn’t seem to be entirely sure what it wants to be. Set entirely in one location, Hall builds the intensity well within its enclosed environments. Moving between two separate but interacting storylines, Giannini effectively establishes some interesting character arcs as the film begins. However, the film stumbles as the film progresses, adding in new elements that distract from the soul of the film. (A mysterious villain… on the same floor? A dinner party?) With each new attempt at a shocking reveal, Hall seems to step further away from its best elements and ideas which leads to a confusing endeavor.

Perhaps the most frustrating part about Hall is that there’s truly some interesting ideas that lie behind the horror. There’s a fascinating analogy to be made between the rampant spread of a debilitating virus. That virus is like the widespread toxic masculinity within our culture. Unfortunately, the film leaves too many character arcs unfulfilled to truly capitalize on the premise.

While Hall has incredible potential, it never manages to fully flesh out its ideas. Featuring solid production values and good work from its cast, there are things to like in the film. Even so, if you’re considering stepping into the Hall, it might be best if you stayed in your room.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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