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Hello in Here

average rating is 3 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Apr 16, 2024

Film Reviews
Hello in Here
Directed by:
Casey McAdams
Written by:
Casey McAdams
Chynna Walker, Autumn Breaud, Annie Gill

If Hello in Here is any indication, independent cinema is still very much in a ‘Covid’ era. This drama is set directly during the pandemic and addresses the familiarity we now all share with isolation, depression and monotony, and how inability to connect has far-reaching consequences that extend long after the lockdown is done.


The story revolves around Kara (Chynna Walker) and her life alone during the initial months of the pandemic. Recently single and living alone, she’s convinced that solitude shouldn’t be a problem. But when she ends up furloughed, life becomes an endless cycle of coffee, home workouts, obscure foreign television and arguing with customer service representatives. The long spell alone leads to strange dreams that seem to have deeper meanings, as she contemplates her existence slowly falling apart.


Hello in Here’s biggest problem is that it is the latest in the line of self-reflective Covid films that have little to really say beyond the importance of community, communication, and how lockdown was really, really boring. Its portrayal of a young professional’s life becoming a droning routine of small distractions is competent enough, and the majority of its audience will be able to relate to Kara’s inexplicable sudden interest in Portuguese TV or Kafka-esque battle with her phone company. But in 2024, the film struggles to cover ground that has not been tread before, and in more interesting and innovative forms such as Bo Burnham’s Inside.


That’s not to say there is nothing original here. The dream sequences are jarring in the most welcoming way, allowing writer-director Casey McAdams to inject some oddity that shocks viewers out of the stupor they begin to share with Kara. These colourful moments are spaced throughout the film and are used as important story beats. Whilst benefitting from their scarcity, the film would be more engaging and dynamic if a few more of these moments were present – though the flipside would be sacrificing the relatable pandemic recreation that the film captures.


Chynna Walker’s performance matches the scale of the task placed upon her as the film’s central and solo figure. Walker brilliantly finds Kara as someone who lacks the time in her day to stop and take stock of what her life has become. But when outside events stop her from plowing through, her natural reaction turns against her and beaten-down stoicism is no longer enough to sustain her soul. Her pivotal confrontation with the latest faceless customer service advisor in pitch-black darkness is a touching and traumatic finale to the film that rides off of a sort of anti-momentum – as all the meaninglessness and lost time finale cause Kara to crack, with hopefully a reassessment of herself to follow.


Hello in Here is a solid enough (if overlong) film that doesn’t quite achieve enough to stand out in what is now a pandemic of pandemic films that all have familiar messages to say. The experimental elements allow it to stand out a little, and there will be viewers for whom Kara’s life speaks to more personably. But in the same way that regular life did, perhaps its time for indie cinema to move on from the pandemic.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Theatrical Release, Indie Feature Film
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