A24’s The Hole in the Ground is one of the many films that premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and I’ve been dying to check it out, even before then. At first thought, I was like, “Oh, yay… Another story about a creepy kid,” but after seeing the trailers and clips, it was starting to look like this could be truly something.
This refreshing new take on a horror film comes from Director/Writer Lee Cronin (Minutes Past Midnight 2016). The cast includes Seána Kerslake (Dollhouse 2012), James Quinn Markey (Vikings TV series), Simone Kirby, (Alice Through The Looking Glass 2016) Steve Wall (Vikings TV series), and Eoin Macken (The Forest 2016).
Synopsis for The Hole in the Ground
Trying to escape her broken past, Sarah O’Neill is building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris. A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbor shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiraling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust, as she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.
In the community you often hear with great sarcasm, “Oh great, another zombie movie,” or “Yay, another remake.” People tend to grow tired of seeing the same material over and over again. However, The Hole in the Ground is proof that a subject that has been used repeatedly can still be retold in a unique way and delivered beautifully. Lee Cronin takes your typical creepy kid story and turns it into a breath fresh air with a uniquely creepy storyline and stellar performances with killer cinematography and effects.
The Hole in the Ground begins with a mother’s hope for a better tomorrow, but quickly turns into a nightmare she never expected. I think what makes this film so unique is its slow buildup. Cronin doesn’t just all of a sudden go bad with the uncertainty that the mother feels about her son. Is it her son? Or is he a monster? A feeling of dread and constant panic subsides throughout the film. Always having to look behind her back.
The performances by Seána Kerslake and James Quinn Markey were both remarkable, and their relationship on screen was authentic and terrifying. Markey may just be my new favorite creepy kid in the business, as long he’s not lurking in the dark corners around me.
I thought the set design and cinematography were beautiful. Everything looks sinister and dreadful. No happy moments to be found here. I love how there was very little CGI used, and one of my favorite and most terrifying parts was the sink hole. It just felt like something out of a nightmare, a place where bad things go and people die.
If you’re a fan of A24 films, you’re going to love this one. They’re always delivering fresh and interesting new takes on horror, and The Hole in the Ground is one of their best. It definitely starts out a bit slow and takes a bit to build up, but it’s worth the wait, as the ending was one of my favorite parts. The film is currently available in limited theaters as well as on DIRECTV.