Horror Movie: The Hole (2001)

A psychological horror, The Hole is based on the novel ‘After the Hole’ by Guy Burt. It is directed by Nick Hamm & stars Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Keira Knightley and Laurence Fox.

The movie opens with a woman, Liz (Birch) staggering down a road. She is dishevelled & covered in blood but manages to make it to a huge private school where she calls the police. Sometime later it’s revealed that she is one of four students who has been missing for 18 days.

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Talking with a psychiatrist, Liz recants the events that saw her, Mike (Harrington), Geoff (Fox), and Frankie (Knightley) end up trapped inside a hidden bomb shelter deep in the woods. As the psychiatrist listens she begins to realise that what Liz is telling her isn’t true.

Just what actually happened in The Hole?

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The less said about the plot, the better as this is a horror movie that relies on surprises & twists even if it’s fairly obvious early on just what happened. The movie jumps in time to try & throw you off the scent & make you question the events but it doesn’t really work. Instead these time-jumps end up frustrating as you can’t help but think it would have been a far better movie if it had just been told in a more straight-forward way.

Get used to flashbacks, it’s the only trick The Hole has.

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The poor camera work with constant zooms & sped up shots doesn’t help make it any more enjoyable. Add the obnoxiously loud late 90’s/early 00’s soundtrack & The Hole is really feeling dated. The editing is all over the place & while it does keep things exciting it does make for a disjointed watch.

Where The Hole does impress though is with its location & acting. The abandoned shelter looks great & the you can believe a group of horny teens would want to spend a dirty weekend there. What starts off looking as a fun place to hang out ends up feeling like a prison, it’s just a pity more time wasn’t dedicated to showing the groups attempts to escape.

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Thora Birch & Desmond Harrington are both great here even when having to deliver some pretty poor dialogue. There are no actual likeable characters here but they are believable & convincing. However, Laurence Fox is fairly forgettable (beyond one scene) and Knightley is pretty annoying.

You’ll be glad to see the film reach its conclusion as it does end up feeling dragged out.

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Unfortunately, the ending is probably the biggest flaw in the movie. As the credits roll you’ll have far more questions left then you should. It’s a pity that some of the more pointless scenes in the middle weren’t cut to add 5 minutes more to the finale for a more satisfying experience.

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The Hole
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