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Archive for September 27th, 2010

The Hole

“You’ve got a gateway to hell under your house, and that is really cool”

To make a credible horror movie that is both suitable and enjoyable for a family audience is a hard thing to do, Joe Danye managed it with Gremlins in 1985. A quarter of a century later he has attempted to recapture the magic with The Hole, but has he succeeded?

No cliché is left unturned in the plot of this movie, single mother Susan (Teri Polo) moves her two kids, Dane (Chris Massoglia) and younger brother Lucas (Nathan Gamble) from Brooklyn to a small town. Before long the kids have made friends with teenage girl next door Julie (Hayley Bennett, who in true cinematic convention was 21 when the film was made). The threesome stumble on a mysterious trapdoor in the basement floor secured with six padlocks. Do you think they open it?

The three young leads all do a good job and are believable (if a little too old in one case) and generally likeable. The plot is very simple and you will realise where it is going early on, this isn’t a bad thing. There are a few genuine creepy moments although nothing that will scare anyone other then the very young or the very nervous. By the time the kids actually go into the hole it loses its way a little but visually it is very effective looking, this has nothing to do with the 3D that is as pointless as ever.

In a lot of ways the movie is a little old-fashioned and belongs in the directors heyday of the 70’s and 80s, this by the way is a compliment not a criticism cinematically. It does however make me wonder if the film will find an audience. When I was 12, I was watching the Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies, so it stands to reason kids of that age are now watching Saw, Hostel and other similar movies. That’s why I see the audience of this movie being younger children and their parents but not necessarily teenagers. Now back to the question I asked at the top: if the question had been “is it as good as Gremlins” the answer would have to be no, however on its own merits, it is a really good fun movie. There is also a great cameo from the always watchable Bruce Dern.

Four Stars out of Five

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