Film review – ‘The Hole in the Ground’

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I RECENTLY read a fawning review of ‘The Hole in the Ground’ where it was deemed “the best Irish horror movie ever made”.

Well, as it turns out, it’s not!

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For my money, that dubious title still belongs to ‘Grabbers’, a movie about the inhabitants of an island off the Irish coast who discover the only way to survive an invasion of blood-sucking aliens is to stay drunk.

‘The Hole in the Ground’, takes itself far too seriously, lacks originality and emotional depth. You’d almost have to ply yourself with liquor to sit through it.

Lee Cronin’s debut film is beautifully shot and crafted with some fine performances but there’s little here to draw you in or engage you on any level.

The opening scene, with an aerial shot of a car cruising slowly along a long stretch of desolate highway, tips its hat nicely to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. But from the off, Cronin seems far more concerned with borrowing from the masters than putting down his own stamp.

Even the storyline is contrived and has been done to death in countless run-of-the-mill horror movies.

Sarah (Seána Kerslake) moves into a new home in the Irish countryside next to a forest and an enormous sinkhole with her young son Chris (James Quinn Markey). One night, Chris vanishes, and when he reappears, his behaviour quickly grows disturbing, and Sarah begins to fear he is not her son.

The whole thing comes off very badly, like a cross between ‘Changeling’ and ‘Shrooms’. There’s no scares, no laughs and it is totally bereft of ideas.

Frightful stuff!