There are numerous ways that a vanity project like this can go off the rails, but Miles Doleac’s The Hollow is a fun little genre potboiler that gets it right. A triple homicide involving a congressman’s daughter brings FBI agents Vaughn (Battlestar Galactica‘s James Callis, rocking an American accent) and Sarah (Christiane Seidel) to a small Mississippi county where they encounter resistance from foul-mouthed, drug-dealing deputy Ray (Doleac) of ineffectual sheriff Beau (William Sadler), as well as crime boss Big John (William Forsythe), who’s determined to clear his football-star grandson’s name of the murder because “that boy’s got a bright future ahead of him.” It also doesn’t help that Vaughn is a boozy mess mired in self-pity about his separation from his wife and son — and indeed, Vaughn, Ray, and Big John are all motivated in part by concern about their progeny — but The Hollow manages to avoid becoming yet another Daddy Issues movie. There’s something refreshing about the fact that the man who wrote, produced, directed the picture, and who also gets the majority of the screen time, is not only not a hero or even arguably the protagonist, but a rotten sonofabitch who stands among a gallery of rotten sonofabitches. After all, it’s always more fun to play the bad guy.
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