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Review - The Hole in the Ground

By midlandsmovies, Mar 7 2019 01:10PM



The Hole in the Ground (2019) Dir. Lee Cronin


From The Shining-style opening where we see a God-shot of a car driving through a forest landscape, new horror-thriller The Hole in the Ground has plenty of classic genre references but does it add enough to the mix to set it apart amongst a whole host of other fear-filled films?


Well, the clichés begin as we get a mum and child (a trope becoming as common as teens in the woods) moving to a new home where they uncover a humungous crater in the woods. Mum (an excellent Seána Kerslake as Sarah) warns her son to not go near it but after noticing some very strange traits from her offspring, she begins to suspect something isn’t quite right.


The disturbing behaviour continues with his monotone speech and upsetting behaviour, before Sarah crosses paths with an excellent James Cosmo as local man Des Brady whose wife recently died after claiming her son was no longer the same boy as well. With some ideas akin to Clint Eastwood’s The Changeling, we begin to question Sarah’s sanity and the film focuses much more on dread and tension than it does jump scares.


Director Cronin uses great cinematography to add gravitas to the low-key film, from beautiful wide shots of nature to the torch-lit point-of-view shots which includes the film’s first scares. The visuals are complimented by a beautiful, but eerie, piano score and as the questions of possession continue we get a claustrophobic conclusion reminiscent of The Descent where a metaphorical haunted house (cave) holds the spooky secrets to the mystery.


A solid story, well-shot and delivered in a very matter-of-fact style, The Hole in the Ground goes beyond its b-movie title to provide an interesting film mixing the satisfying themes of psychological paranoia and the paranormal.


★★★½


Michael Sales


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