Tagline: It knows your deepest fears
Director: Joe Dante
Release Date: 06/11/010
Source: Self-Purchased | Runtime: 1h 32min | Rating: 3 out of 5 | MPAA Rating: PG-13
The Hole Review
I bought this on a whim, thinking it might be somewhat interesting but cheesy. something along the lines of Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour. I was pleasantly, creepily surprised. My son, who was twelve or so at the time liked it as well. In fact, we still watch i at least once a year or so.
I can’t say there’s too much original about it but some things stood out to me. You do get the usual “I hate moving” angst speech but, really, it’s pretty light and in the main the two boys are supportive of their mother. You can tell there’s a tense undercurrent in the family but not quite what for a while. They do a good job of maintaining it until one scene lays it out but even then, it’s very subtle until closer to the end.
The characters of Dane and Lucas are well acted. Maybe not phenomenal but solid. Dane’s character at first appears to be a bit sulky and I was a bit lukewarm on him but once I picked up on the ‘something else’ I decided to wait and see and give him a chance. I actually did like the character of Julie more than I thought I would at first. The secondary characters are pretty well fleshed out, also. The creepiness of The Hole itself gives it its own character.
The scares aren’t exactly original but they’re used decently. One fault of The Hole is an over-reliance on fake jump scares. Even with some of the scares being a bit cliche (yes, a clown makes an appearance) there was one very effective sequence involving a roller coaster at night. Amusement parks are creepy enough but it was an all around good, tense scene that was done very well. Mostly what caught my attention in a positive way was the finale. When Dane goes into The Hole to save his brother. It’s not much of a spoiler, you can see it coming a mile away. But once inside is where it gets interesting and I found myself leaning forward and rooting for Dane. Hard. And that rarely happens. And that, good readers, I won’t spoil for you.
It’s not a perfect movie by any means. Even though the actors are older teens (maybe around 15 or 16?) the scares are middle school level but still enjoyable. The plot moves along fairly well except for a few breaks here and there and a bit of suspension of belief is required in certain areas. Not for the supernatural bits, though. At one point the Heroic Trio is staking out The Hole and the mom comes home. It’s one in the morning and she has no problem with the two teens having been there all night. Apparently her parents are ok with it, too. I have to admit it made me yell, “No freaking way!” and my son said “Now I know it’s make-believe!”
I should clarify that even though The Hole is directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins) that did not factor into my review at all. In fact, I didn’t even know it was directed by him until looking up the info for the technical details. So this is not a nostalgia review or anything like that. The Hole is a good, solid creepy kid’s movie with a pretty good message to it. especially in the finale.