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Inspiring Fear: The Hole

hblf, lfneJason L Blair13 August 2013

Even though I was quite excited for this 2009 film* by from kid-film icon Joe Dante, I admit the online reception put me off. So much so that I delayed actually watching The Hole until this past weekend. I came into the movie expecting a mediocre horror tale but, honestly, aside from the rather glaring plot hole (which is forgivable as I think there’s a strong argument for why the characters didn’t), I found The Hole to be rather good—and an excellent resource for Little Fears.

The film follows a familiar setup: two kids move into a new town/new house and stuff happens. In this case, two brothers, Dane and Lucas, find a locked door on the basement floor of the house they’re renting (the latest in a long string of “new houses”). Unable to fight curiosity, they open the door and discover a hole that seems to have no bottom. This prompts further investigation, with interesting results, and builds a mystery as to what could possibly be down there. Along the way, they enlist the girl next door who maybe knows something about the house’s previous tenant.

The movie touches on some rather serious subject matter, which comes to light through the supernatural angle, and moves along at a fair clip. The acting, especially Haley Bennett’s neighbor girl Julie, is quite good and the whole thing builds to a satisfying and personal conclusion. Sure, I could nitpick the film but I honestly don’t see what the bad reviews on IMDb are going on about. Ah well.

I don’t want to spoil anything but I do want to point out that this film features a pitch-perfect glimpse into Closetland. If you’ve struggled to conceptualize what the realm of monsters can look like, watch this film.

The Hole is available in hardcopy as a DVD or Blu-Ray or you can stream it via Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.

*Not to be confused with the 2001 Thora Birch and Keira Knightley film of the same name.

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