The Hole

Movies, Horror
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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The Hole
For the first hour of this haphazard 3D adventure, it feels as if Joe ‘the subversive Spielberg’ Dante has never been away: here come the lovingly written kids from ‘Explorers’, moving into the white-picket American fairyland of ‘The 'burbs’ and promptly being terrorised by mystical, malevolent beings à la ‘Gremlins’. Said supernatural critters emanate from the mysterious, padlocked, seemingly bottomless pit beneath the boys’ new house, and Dante plays the early scenes perfectly, racking up the clammy dread without tipping over into outright nastiness.
But somewhere along the way, the tension dissipates: once the somewhat pedestrian truth about the hole is revealed, there’s nowhere for the film to go. Dante pulls off a visually bold, thematically bleak finale, inspired equally by Bernard Rose’s dreamy teen shocker ‘Paperhouse’ and his own berserk ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ segment, but never quite claws back the sustained suspense of those superb early sequences. Nevertheless, it’s good to welcome back one of the undisputed masters of modern genre cinema – and adventurous kids will love it.

By: Tom Huddleston

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Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Joe Dante
Screenwriter: Mark L Smith
Cast: Teri Polo
Haley Bennett
Chris Massoglia
Bruce Dern
Nathan Gamble