The Hole (2009)

The Hole
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Mark L. Smith
Cast: Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Haley Bennett, Teri Polo,
Bruce Dern, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Dane (Chris Massoglia) and Lucas (Nathan Gamble) just moved with their mother (Teri Polo) into a new house. Again. But there’s something different about that house – and that’s not the neighbors’ daughter Julie (Haley Bennett). Dane and Lucas stumble upon a seemingly bottomless hole in the basement. And when they open it, something escapes.

The Hole feels like one of those classic adventure films of the 80s where kids are curious explorers in a world where adults are barely anything more than an afterthought. It’s a rather nostalgic film in the way it’s made. It’s not without its faults but that works very well.


If you grew up with Joe Dante movies (like I did), the general atmosphere of these film is bound to jolt you back into your childhood. This movie is obviously made by Dante, and not just because Dick Miller has a cameo in it, yet it’s not just a re-hashing of things we’ve seen before.

The idea with the hole was pretty nice, though the concept behind it was clear a little too soon as they’re later treated as a bit of a revelation. But I didn’t mind that it didn’t surprise me because I was caught up in the story and I did like the kids.

The Hole movie image Haley Bennett and Chris Massoglia

Visually the film is really nice, too, especially towards the end when we get to see the inside of the hole. Though I thought that expressly pointing out why things looked the way they looked was unnecessary and it was honestly a little insulting that they thought it was. [Keeping this vague to remain spoilerfree.]

Bruce Dern’s character didn’t make much sense (and in the end the thing that made the least sense about him wasn’t even necessary for the story, so it would have been better to do without that part. But that little blunder is more than made up for by the rest of the film and especially Nathan Gamble’s performance. I’d be suprised if we didn’t hear more from him in the future.


Summarizing: Very enjoyable.

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