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Hallam Foe (2007)

Film review: Hallam Foe (2007), directed by David Mackenzie

Hallam (Jamie Bell) is a strange young Scotsman who enjoys spying on people from his treehouse. He’s convinced his stepmother Verity (Claire Forlani) was behind his mother’s death just a few short years previously, especially as she was his father’s (Ciarán Hinds) secretary or assistant or something like that and very quickly came to replace the drowned mother.

Anyhow. Hallam’s sister leaves for uni and Hallam should move on too, so he moves to the big city: Edinburgh. There, he spots a woman, Kate (Sophia Myles), who looks eerily similar to his mother. He stalks her and gets a job at the same hotel and takes to spying on her in her apartment.

And eventually, she finds out. And it rolls on from there into some sort of stalkery, blackmaily might-have-been-a-murder mystery.

This is the sort of film I imagine professional critics nearly fall over themselves in their eagerness to praise. If you’re not completely weirded out, you’re not paying attention.

The atmosphere is gloomy, Hallam and his spying give me the creeps, his stepmum is a bitch, his boss is a disturbing git, and his father is a snob. Kate is a sweet girl. But it’s all so very, very weird.

Acting-wise, I thought it was very good. It’s just that I didn’t really take to the story, and I didn’t like the main character very much. Too much of a weirdo for my liking, as I’ve already stated. That Hallam is so taken by Kate because she looks so much like his drowned mother is fair enough, but when he takes to watching her (through a window) have sex, and then later on, wanting to sleep with her … it’s a liiiiittle bit disturbed, shall we say?

Entertainment value? Meh. It was too slow for that. And as much as I love Ciarán Hinds, his character wasn’t exactly a great father and just … no. Hallam Foe is certainly not my kind of film. I mean, it’s not really bad or anything, it’s just that I wasn’t particularly keen on it, and kept wondering why I bothered recording it. There are more entertaining films to watch out there. But I bet the critics loved it.

2.9 out of 5 rooflights.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

2 thoughts on “Hallam Foe (2007)

  1. I liked that film a lot. I loved the brilliant actors (Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles (first movie I saw her in)). True it is quite a weird film, but with an intriguingly interesting story, in parts unsettling and maybe even a bit annoying, but all that led to vigorous debates the following days and to a second viewing. Bought the soundtrack too as I thoroughly enjoyed the music. Since big parts of Hallam Foe were filmed in Edinburgh, watching this film has been the final trigger to visit Scotland and said Edinburgh shortly after! (I’m from Germany) This trip was even better!!!
    Thus there are definitely more rooflights on my part!!!! LOL
    linda60

    1. Glad you enjoyed it more than I did. 🙂 That’s the good thing about taste, we all have different ones! I’d like to go to Edinburgh too at some point.

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