Movie Black Hollow Cage Recommendation and Explanation

Movie Black Hollow Cage Recommendation and Explanation
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Movie Black Hollow Cage Recommendation and Explanation. Been doing a lot more conventional movies around here lately. But today? For my hardcore, “WHAT THE HE@#” fans out there… this one is definitely for you. And it’s brought to you by ARM – thanks for the recommendation buddy. Now, why (?) is this one less conventional? Because it is nigh on inscrutable. Totally and completely opaque as to what might even be going on in this particular movie. It could be x… or, it might just be the inverse of x. The opposite of x. There is really no way to tell what is actually going on without really unpacking Black Hollow Cage completely – i.e., putting the movie up on blocks and just tearing it apart. But at the end of it, I think Black Hollow Cage is saying something unique, profound, and scarily beautiful. There are lessons to be learned here, is what I’m saying.

But first, what is a “Black Hollow Cage?” And why are we talking about it today? The film, written and directed by Sadrac González-Perellón, is a question without an answer – well, not in this world anyway. What would we give to change the past? Sadrac’s freshman debut asks these questions and a billion more. The film was nominated for a pile of awards and won the Jury’s Choice for Feature Film at the 2017 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. Wait, but is it any good? Well, first, do you want to think? If yes, then yes. If no, then no. Simple. The acting is a bit rough in spots. Elements of the film are shady as heck. But there are nuances here that will blow your mind if you let it, and it could ruin you if you don’t see it coming.

While not a stellar movie by any respects – it is definitely a movie that you should avoid spoiling at all costs. It carries enough crazy twists, and enough head fakes, that it’ll keep you guessing. But only if you choose, deliberately not to keep reading. Say it with me, “I do NOT, want to spoil this movie.” Great. Now go watch the movie right here, for free even. See!? You can listen to directions when you want to. Well done.

Movie Black Hollow Cage Recommendation and Explanation

Black Hollow Cage opens with a hauntingly quick start. Adam (played by Julian Nicholson) is walking down a hallway in a gorgeously modern home. He’s carrying a tray of food. But Adam begins to sense that he isn’t alone. We can tell in the subtle nuances that change in his face. And sure enough, there is a man, in a ski mask, walking behind Adam. And just as the scene starts to get so long that we are all beginning to wonder if Adam is going to turn around and face his masked shadow or not, the masked man clubs Adam. And we cut away. Are we cutting forward? Cutting backwards? Did that scene even actually happen? We have no idea, and the movie continuing does nothing to assuage said discombobulation.

Chapter 1: The Cube

Jump to Alice (Lowena McDonell). She’s being fitted for a mechanical arm. And she has serious anger issues. It would seem she has had some sort of traumatic event that has caused her to lose the lower part of her right arm. But the movie isn’t coming out and saying anything at all. We sort of need to get our bearings through the effused emotions that seemed to be gashed and spewed across the movie set floors. Alice is attempting to try and use her new mechanical arm to pick up cylinders. Worse? She is obviously hiding her shattered limb from anyone and everyone. Is she embarrassed? Ashamed? And enter mother, Beatrice, a white dog of some sort… maybe a wolfhound? The weird bit? Mother has a voice enabled collar that allows the dog to talk. What? Yeah. I don’t know either. Oh, but it gets better. As the dog (mother) walks with Alice, and talks to her, they come across something in the woods they obviously haven’t seen before. A large cube. A solid, metal cube. And this cube responds to Alice’s touch. The cube gives her a slip of writing… in her own handwriting, that tells her “They are not to be trusted.” Who they? Huh.

Later that same day that the cube appears, Adam finds two strangers in the woods that are desperately in need of assistance. A teen, Erika (played by Haydée Lysander) is badly beaten up. Her face seems to have been smashed pretty badly. And Paul… Paul is mute. Erika informs Adam that the perpetrator of her broken face is her boyfriend… David (played by Will Hudson). And strangely, Erika convinces Adam not to call the police, and Adam agrees. Instead, he makes beds for them in the guest room, and convinces them that the house is a well locked-down fortress.

Chapter 2: The Strangers

Erika and Paul settle into the house, and everyone weirdly tries to settle into a wobbly normalcy. Alice tries to figure out her cylinders. We learn more about the setup of the story as to how Erika was harmed. We also learn that Erika and Paul’s parents are dead. And mother doesn’t like the fact that Erika is wearing her former dress. What? What is going on here.

But when Adam hits on Erika in front of mother, Alice is extraordinarily upset about it. I mean, why would he make an advance in front of her mother. Um, except, that it’s a dog? No, seriously, what is going on here? And then Adam tells Alice that she isn’t her mother. “You transformed her, and me too!” “No… no I didn’t transform her, I killed her.” But what?? What could he possibly be talking about. At this point in the film I was certain he meant literally… like, with an axe, the guy was so weird.

Chapter 3: The Listening

Alice goes back to visit at the box, and this time the message is an audio file that Alice is supposed to start listening to at 4pm. And she’s suppose to wear headphones. Mother thinks the audio is probably a trap of some sort, but Alice is is no mood to listen to mother right now. She’s all in on listening to this audio recording from herself that she doesn’t remember recording.

First, you need to go see dad and tell him that you think David is outside. But don’t let him call the police… “it always goes wrong every time he calls the police.” After Adam goes outside, the audio tells Alice she needs to go to the kitchen and see Paul. But once she gets there, and Paul comes in, the audio tells her that she needs to kill Paul. And that if she doesn’t kill Paul, something terrible will happen, and the only way to avoid it is to kill Paul, and then kill Erika. Yeah, no. Alice isn’t able to murder two people randomly in her own kitchen, for no apparent reason.

And that is when Erika and Paul take mother and kill her. Erika then gets undressed, and walks in to visit Adam, and he follows her out. And that is when the ski mask guy, you know, the one we saw at the beginning? He appears and violently slits Adam’s throat as he was following Erika. Then, ski mask, Erika, and Paul, all leave together.

Movie Black Hollow Cage Recommendation and Explanation

Chapter 4: The Journey

The next morning, Alice wakes to the chaos of the night before. “Mother” dead, Adam dead. And she goes and visits the cube again. This time though, the cube doesn’t respond. At least not at first. But then, the cube opens, and there is a space large enough for Alice to climb in – and she does, with nary a thought or consideration. Personally, I think Alice’s familiarity and openness to this cube construct idea is an enormous clue, but we’ll talk about that later. As soon as she climbs in, we know right away that we are back at the beginning of the story all over again. But this time, we see it from Erika’s perspective, with David beating the snot out of her, and Paul covering his ears. But Alice? She’s videoing – and this becomes important later, even if not explicitly called out in the film.

Now – we are going to need to begin keeping track of the various permutations of the players as they move through the film. We are now following Alice2 – we know this because she is now wearing a light blue blouse, and not the dark blue one from before. After recording the beating, Alice2 goes back to the house, and pulls out an app, and sends voice through the speaker on Mother’s collar “Come help.” which brings Alice1 coming mother’s direction. Alice2 then goes into the kitchen and makes Paul a sandwich, but this time Alice2 stabs Paul in the neck. But when Erika walks in, she just laughs and laughs. And then she stabs Alice2 in the gut. And when Adam walks in he comes completely unglued, “What have you done??” But it was really unclear if Adam was referring to himself? To Erika? To something else?

Now, moments later, Alice1 walks in and shows Adam the video of Erika getting beaten in the woods. (Did she find it on her future phone? I’m sort of sketchy on how Alice1 got it from Alice2. Alice1 definitely could not have taken the vide… but what do I know? Well, Alice1 tells Adam that she found something in the woods – and they both go out to the cube together. “What do you think it is?” “Some sort of time machine.” “Okay, I do too.”

Chapter 5 – The Three Cylinders

When they approach the cube, it opens up… and we can presume they both get in. Because one cut scene later, we watch as Adam(1?) is followed by a ski masked Adam2. And Adam2 kills Adam1 and takes his place. Adam2 then goes and visits Erika and Paul the very first night that they arrived. Soon after, David arrives, and asks if Erika and Paul are both alright.

“My name is David, and you killed my parents. My father’s name was David like mine. And my mother’s name was Margaret like her mother before her. My father likes the color blue, and pizza. His favorite actor was Tom Hanks. My mother loves traveling, and she taught me how to love.”

“They were important to their friends and family. If I want a hug? And they took the car the same day you did.”

And while David is monologuing about the death of his parents, Alice(?) walks up behind him and stabs him. Personally, I think that this is Alice3 because she has the dark blue shirt on, but it can’t possibly be Alice1. And with that Alice(?) sits down with Adam2 and says, “My father’s name is Adam, my mother’s name is Beatrice…” And ultimately she tells Adam2 that they need to use the cube to go back 7 months, and 12 days, in order to stop Adam from getting the car keys from his drawer. Why? Well, because then it would keep him from driving Beatrice and Alice, and getting into that fateful car wreck. The one that killed David’s parents, Beatrice and maimed Alice.

The Ending of Dark Hollow Cage Unpacked and Explained

Over on Patreon, Chris (the one that basically held a gun to my face and made me watch this great little film. Why did Chris make me watch this one? Well, he wanted my explanation about what is going on in the film. So what I bring to you now is the raw (okay, slightly edited to account for the delays of chat, and cleaned up a bit to account for the general stupidities of fat fingering and the like) conversation we had immediately after I watched the film:

Taylor – “So, BHC is an interesting problem. We have the mechanics of the movie – and the standard problems of time travel. Like, for example, it was pretty obvious to me that Adam was the guy knocking himself out at the beginning. Whenever a mask is used (Timecrimes, etc.) in a time travel movie, the mask wearer is always the protagonist. Always. You can take that rule to the bank. All that to say, the mechanics are intriguing. How many Alice’s. How many Adams. What are the various Alice’s and Adams doing to themselves, and the spiraling, out of control details of the movie. Etc., etc., etc. And it is pretty simple to map the comings and goings of the various characters. They are all pretty well knowable. Not much is hidden in this movie.”

Chris – “Primer…. we know where the time machine comes from. Tenet…. we can track where the time machine comes from. BHC….. where did it come from? Did Dad build it? Aliens? Future? Alice?”

Taylor – “What – hold on, you are missing the point. Where did the black box come from? This is an easy answer. You are just looking at it way too pragmatically. Yes? So you know the answer now?

Narrator’s note – (He obviously didn’t know the answer yet.)

Chris – “Don’t tease… Yes, I probably DO know the answer, but… rationality is what I am!!!! Give it to me in one simple sentence.”

Taylor – “The answer is very simple. The box, the time travel device in BHC is created by trauma.”

Chris – “Ah… Created literally by trauma, or created figuratively?”

Taylor – “Literally and figuratively.”

Narrator note – Chris explodes.

Taylor – “So Adam, Beatrice, and Alice… they are all happily driving down the road. They are going somewhere, it doesn’t matter where. And all of a sudden – GACK – something happens, Adam isn’t paying attention… an animal runs across the road… it doesn’t matter. And they have a horrible accident. And Adam crashes into David and Elizabeth. Who have a child named David… but David isn’t in the car. David – the father – as well as Elizabeth are killed. Also, Beatrice, Adam’s wife, dies at the scene. And Alice is touch and go – she loses an arm. From that day forward, for the rest of Adam’s life, he will be left with the horrific guilt, and dread, and fear, of knowing that he murdered three people, and maimed another… his daughter. His daughter, who now hates him completely.

Chris – “Awful. Horrific.”

Taylor – “Look at that pile of trauma. Now. I’ll ask you. Do you think that the TIME MACHINE is real?”

Chris – “Sounds like the time machine, is not real.”

Taylor – “Yeah, no, not even a little bit. His life is a literal time machine.”

Chris – “So this entire film, is a playback, from the interior, of the father. His mind…”

Theories to Explain Black Hollow Cage

In order to understand the Black Hollow Cage, I’m guessing we should probably start with the title. What the heck is a “Black Hollow Cage?” Is it referring to the cube? The time machine and how it just caused chaos and more grief? More horrors and trapped the players inside its cage? Hahah, clever, but no. Is it Alice? Is she our black hollow cage? Or Adam? Is he our cage? Well, yeah, sort of. I think that the movie is pretty easy to understand as long as you realize that Adam’s grief and devastation is the beginning and end of this particular story.

I’m sure many of you deal with loss daily. What I mean is that you have lost someone dear to you, and therefore, you deal with it daily. My own dabbling experience with loss sort of clued me in to the fact that you really don’t negotiate with it. It takes what it wants, and spits the rest out. And over time, you sort of learn to come to terms with the negotiations it parlayed on your behalf. Right? I see your Ace… and give you this deuce. Congratulations. You now have a shitty hand that you have to live with the rest of your life. It’s just an unbearable fact about life. And that is where we arrive in this particular story. Adam has lost almost everything. Worse, he caused his own loss. And now he lives in this Black Hollow Cage. This is his existence, this is his life.

Once you get that, all the rest should make perfect sense. The movie is Adam’s existential failings with regard to his negotiations with time. His psychology (psychosis?) is bending physics to his will. Time? It’s no thing. He is crafting time machines and time loops out of his sheer desperation. So if you are hoping that this particular time box is real, I’m sorry to let you down, but it isn’t. It’s a metaphor. It’s an idea. And it’s a well designed and thought out device at that.

If you are looking for other movies like Black Hollow Cage – if you are hoping for other time travel movies like this one, I’d argue that Timecrimes, 2067, Volition, Russian Doll, and 41. But that isn’t really what this movie is all about. I would actually argue the best movie to recommend that aligns with Black Hollow Cage would be Starfish. (Why yes, I agree, that is literally perfect. I know. Thank you.)

Edited by: CY