The Hole is about two brothers, Chris Massoglia and Nathan Gamble, who stumble upon a mysterious hole in their basement, that leads to the darkest corridors of their fears and nightmares. Read the review for more.
Business rating: 1 star
Star cast: Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo.
What’s Good: The film’s premise; Nathan Gamble’s performance.
What’s Bad: The normal story; the slow pace of the screenplay; the absence of scary moments, especially for teenagers and adults in the audience.
Verdict: The Hole will appeal only to children. At the Indian box-office, it will be buried in no time.
Loo break: A few scenes in the second half that are funny rather than being scary, can be missed.
Watch or Not? Watch only if your child insists.
Bold Films’ The Hole is a children’s horror film in which two brothers discover a bottomless hole in their basement, which leads them to face their deepest fears.
Seventeen-year-old Dane (Chris Massoglia) and his 10-year-old brother, Lucas (Nathan Gamble), shift to a sleepy little town of Bensonville with their single mother, Susan (Teri Polo). Having shifted towns many times in the past years, Dane is not at all happy to have lost all his friends again. But Lucas is quite alright.
Things look up for Dane when he befriends Julie (Haley Bennett), a beautiful girl, who stays next door. With Susan spending more and more time at work, Dane and Lucas are left unattended. In a coincidence, the brothers stumble upon a locked trap door in the basement of their house. On opening the trap door, they find a bottomless pit that seems to eat up or destroy everything that is put into it. Dane lets Julie in on their secret and the three start investigating the mysterious hole. Soon enough, the evil is unleashed. One by one, their worst fears start coming to life. So while Lucas starts getting attacked by a toy-clown, Julie is revisited by the ghost of a friend who had died in a freak accident. The kids try to lock up the trap door every night, but their efforts come to naught as the evil beings keep reappearing.
Desperate for help, the kids reach out to the previous owner of the house, Creepy Carl (Bruce Dern), who reprimands them for opening the trap door and says that their move will spell doom for all concerned. The next day, Creepy Carl disappears. Dane also starts having dreams of his wife-beater father, who is actually lodged in a jail. One night, when Lucas is taken into the hole by a giant, Dane enters the hole to face his real fear. Is Dane able to save Lucas? Do they ever come out of the hole? What happens to Julie and Susan? The film’s climax reveals the rest.
Story and Screenplay – The Hole Review
Mark L. Smith’s story is appropriate for the kids, who fear little things. Teenagers and adults will find the story boring. The screenplay, also by Smith, keeps things simple. There are hardly any twists and turns in the plot. The main emphasis of his writing is to scare the daylights out of the children. Hence the repetition of several scenes of a dead girl walking creepily, of climbing a skyscraper and of things emerging from the hole, etc.
Star Performances – The Hole Review
Chris Massogli, Haley Bennett and Teri Polo do okay jobs. Nathan Gamble, as young Lucas, is cute and natural. Bruce Dern has a minimal role to play.
Direction, Music and Visual Effects – The Hole Review
Joe Dante’s direction is good, but his narration will appeal only to the children among the audience. He makes the film appear on screen like a story-book tale. Javier Navarrete’s background score is appropriate. Theo van de Sande’s cinematography is good. Marshall Harvey’s editing could have done with a little more cuts. The visual effects are nice. The Stereoscopic 3D effect adds little value.
The Last Word
All in all, The Hole will be a failure at the Indian box-office as it is will appeal only to children, if at all.