When you’re a child the world can be a very scary place. From school bullies to dusty dank attics, to creepy unnerving neighbours, to deep dark woods. It seems there is something to scare you hiding around every creepy corner.
But what if you found a hole in your basement? A hole that had no bottom? A hole that seemed to lead to the very pits of hell itself? A hole that once you looked into it brought your greatest fear to life?!
That would suddenly make the world a whole lot scarier.
This is the frightening fate awaiting brothers Dane and Lucas (Chris Massoglia and Nathan Gamble respectively), who move to a new house in a new town with their mom to find they have a lot more problems than simply making friends and fitting in.
Discovering the hole closed up and locked down with their neighbor Julie (The Haunting of Molly Hartley’s Haley Bennett), their childish curiosity leads them to open it up. This unleashes each of their own personal nightmares into the world, which then stalk and haunt them while they desperately try to work out a way to close the hole up again.
Although pitched as a kids film The Hole (not to be confused with the awful Keira Knightley movie of the same name) is a brilliant, engrossing, captivating, creepy horror which delivers scares and frights equal to many adult movies. And the credit for this in most part goes to director Joe Dante, a man who knows more than a little about making kids films for adults.
As the man behind both glorious Gremlins movies along with Small Soldiers and the underrated (yet excellent) TV series Eerie, Indiana he has a talent for crafting and creating stories with a wide, entertaining appeal and dark side to them.
With The Howling and Piranha in his list of credits as well, he can more than handle horror and a horror is what The Hole is, no matter what its rating is.
Packed with jumps and frights, unsettling scenes and disturbing imagery from the crazy killer clown to the J Horror jerky movements of the ghostly girl, it’s a film unafraid to face fear full on. Also dealing with some heavyweight themes cleverly and sensitively
Visually striking, it was made in 3D and Dante uses the new medium well. Especially during the nightmarish dreamscape sequences at the end which are reminiscent of 80’s horror Paperhouse in their warped perspectives and menacing patriarchal monster.
With an great cast of kids who are believable and likable, not grating or annoying, and an excellent story line and script (brought together by Dante’s directorial diligence) The Hole is a fantastic horror movie for all ages. It delivers more genuine chills and thrills than a lot of films for adults with a lot higher certificate ratings.