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BLACK HOLLOW CAGE (2017)

Directed by Sadrac González-Perellón
Written by Sadrac González-Perellón
Starring Julian Nicholson, Lowena McDonell, Daniel M. Jacobs, Haydée Lysander, Marc Puiggener, Lucy Tillett, Will Hudson
Find out more about this film here

BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is an exceptional effort by a relatively new director by the name of Sadrac González-Perellón—a name I believe many will come to know pretty well in the coming years. González-Perellón has created a complex, enchanting, and meditative arthouse sci fi/horror film in BLACK HOLLOW CAGE and one that will resonate long after the credits for most.


Living in a secure, but glass house in the middle of the woods in the near future, Alice (Lowena McDonell) resides with her father Adam (Julian Nicholson) and her mother Beatrice, whose personality resides in a voice box hanging from her dog’s neck. Adam is a broken man, barely functioning and wholly supported by the very mature for her age Alice, who is broken in a physical way in that she does not have a right arm. The film opens with Alice being introduced to her new robotic arm and still holding resentment towards her father for an unknown reason. After reluctantly accepting the robotic arm, Alice and her mother/dog go for a walk in the woods where they find a large black cube. In this cube is a message, seemingly from Alice from some time in the future. Things get weirder and eventually make some kind of sense by the end of it all, but before that there is death, destruction, sorrow, and blood.

BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is as unique as it sounds. The film is a confident endeavor into the unknown; taking small steps into the realm of sci fi, yet never forgetting to imbue every moment with human emotion. González-Perellón’s intricate origami-like story unfolds beautifully and crescendo’s into sometime poignant and powerful by the end as it follows these two broken characters down a tragic, yet necessary and satisfying path.

Brining every little aspect of this film to life is the outstanding performance by Lowena McDonell as Alice; a stubborn child at times and the only voice of reason the rest of the time—McDonell shows a sophisticated understanding of conveying a multitude of emotions that are beyond her young years. I look forward to watching McDonell grow into a huge star as this film really highlights the power this little actress possesses.

Dancing back and forth between sci fi and horror, BLACK HOLLOW CAGE manages to handle both genres with great patience and skill. The scenes of horror are as tense as they come, filmed with a camera that holds still and a script that stays silent in all the right times. The film possesses that dream-like quality often seen in David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick films, where the oddity of the situation is allowed to soak in as the camera lingers on the players telling this truly tragic tale. Those with an impatient fast-forward finger might get a bit antsy at times, but if you stick with this one until the end, I think you’re going to leave BLACK HOLLOW CAGE with a feeling of astonishment, melancholy, and a yearning for what this visionary director has in store for us in the future.

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