The Hole in the Ground (2019)

The Hole in the Ground
Director: Lee Cronin
Writer: Lee Cronin, Stephen Shields
Cast: Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, Kati Outinen, David Crowley, Simone Kirby, Steve Wall, Eoin Macken, James Cosmo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival 1/2
Seen on: 5.5.2019

Sarah (Seána Kerslake) and her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) move to the countryside for a fresh start. But their remote home becomes less of a refuge for them and more of a constant source of paranoia for Sarah when Christ starts to act stranger and stranger. His behavior seems somehow connected to the sinkhole in the woods behind their house and Sarah is soon convinced that more is going on than just a difficult transition into a new life.

The Hole in the Ground starts well enough and does have some creepy moments, but unfortunately the longer it goes on, the less it manages to keep the story together.

The film poster showing Chris (James Quinn Markey) with a spider crawling over his face.

The Hole in the Ground has a core ingredient that a lot of horror movies are missing otherwise: it has good characters that you care about and that you want to see safe and well. Empathizing with them, especially Sarah, is easy and thus the film creates moments that really had me, emotionally.

There was also a good creep factor to it, especially in the beginning. But unfortunately the movie doesn’t quite know what to do with the titular hole, making it feel almost like two different films were combined here. I think that more could have been made of the film with the hole (and less should have been made of the film with the strange child).

Sarah (Seána Kerslake) carrying Chris (James Quinn Markey) through the woods at night.

The film tips its hand too quickly – I realized too early what the explanation for the mysterious events here would be and it did take away from the film. Given this and the way the two parts of the films don’t really come together, it is probably no surprise that the ending feels a little disappointing in a “less would have been more” way.

Overall the film was pretty okay. But it didn’t really convince me of anything much, despite the good moments it had.

Chris (James Quinn Markey) with an anxious facial expression.

Summarizing: okay.

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