The Hole (2009) [REVIEW]

the hole movie poster 2009 joe dante

 

Nope, not the one where you get to see Keira Knightley’s boobs. Wait, isn’t that one a horror movie too? I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. Well, I haven’t seen the WHOLE thing, just a scene or two. What? Oh, no, uhhh…just some random scene…I think I saw it…on the…internet? Shit. Anyways, I’m talking about The Hole from 2009, not The Hole from 2001. This one was directed by Joe Dante! Remember that guy?! He directed things like Piranha, The Howling, and then Gremlins. After Gremlins, he ended up mostly directing PG and PG-13 rated “horror” movies, so I guess it’s kind of cool that he didn’t feel the need to be doing super graphic or vulgar horror movies. I put horror in quotes because I know a lot of people think PG-13 horror is bullshit, and things can’t be scary if they’re only PG-13. I think that most horror fans will put up with any shitty movie if there’s a promise of boobs or graphic violence, which is why shitty R rated horror movies are tolerated more than shitty PG-13 rated horror movies are tolerated. I see where they’re coming from, but if a movie is shitty, I don’t care what it was rated. Enjoying Dante’s previous films and understanding going into it that this was rated PG-13, I was interested to see where he went with it. Lucky for you, I’m about to tell you where he went with it! Could you imagine that?!

 

the hole movie teri polo

Keep looking, Teri Polo! Maybe you’ll find what happened to your career down there!

A family moves into a new home because of some sort of vague issues in the familial unit. The older son, Dane (Chris Massoglia), discovers a hole in his basement. That might not seem too strange, but this hole seemingly has no end to it, after multiple attempts to drop things into it. Dane befriends his cute neighbor Julie (Haley Bennett) who informs him that the person who used to live in this house was kind of a weirdo. After the initial opening of the locked hole in the floor, strange things start happening, like a doll chasing Dane’s younger brother or visions of a young girl. When Dane and Julie confront the former resident about the hole, he freaks out about them opening the hole and says that the hole has been there since people have been afraid. Oh, okay? The puppet attacks get more intense, and Julie is led by the vision of a little girl to an abandoned amusement park. We start realizing that this hole seems to be manifesting the fears of the people who look into it. Dane decides that he’s needs to protect his little brother and Julie, so he climbs into the hole to confront whatever might be in there. After accidentally falling into the hole, Dane gets up and finds himself in a strange city. he ends up in an apartment where he finds a room that his father is in. What’s weird about that is his father is in jail! The reason Dane’s family keeps moving around is because his physically abusive father keeps finding where they relocate and that means it’s time to find a new home. This time, Dane decides to stand up to the image of his father and vanquishing his foe and destroying the whole city that was in this hole. Standing back above the hole, Dane’s mom gets home and wonders what the kids are doing, and when they show her what’s in the hole, it’s just a pit a few feet deep with some pipes running through it. The hole has been defeated! Good job guys!

 

the hole movie jester puppet doll

Well, at least the doll was creepier than that bullshit from Saw.

Finding out that your new house has a giant fucking bottomless pit in it is pretty terrifying. Also, finding that it’s got a bunch of locks keeping it closed? Obviously those locks were there for a reason. Adding to the creepiness of the mysterious latched door was that the underside had a bunch of deep gouges in it, implying that there were something in there that had tried to get out. The idea hooked me early on, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering how much I loved the second season of LOST and the mystery of the hatch they found. The story did a pretty good job of circumventing any sort of clues as to what might be in there. Were they ghosts like the little girl? Was it ghosts making the creepy puppet harass the younger brother? Who knows! Even though there weren’t any particularly spooky scenes or sequences, just the idea of a gaping void creating all sorts of problems really appealed to me in that Lovecraft-ian sort of way. Once we learned that the hole was just a metaphor for a wide variety of unnamed terrors that changed depending on who was looking into the hole, I completely lost interest. I can really only think of one visual effect that was at all gory or violent, and other than that one sequence, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this amount of horror in an episodes of that Goosebumps TV show. That part wasn’t intended to be an insult, because there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with targeting a younger demographic with your movies, but I felt like an opportunity was missed to make something even creepier. I suppose that if you’re a fan of Dante’s filmmaking style and his blend of horror and comedy, including a cameo from Dick Miller, then you might enjoy this more than I did, as I found it to be a tame spooky story with a happy ending.

Wolfman Moon Scale

half moon

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2 responses to “The Hole (2009) [REVIEW]

  1. This isn’t vintage Dante, but yet, for the target audience, I actually think this film delivers the goods. I was happy to see that it was finally released on DVD. however I would have like to see it in 3d.

  2. The 2001 Hole sparked controversy among people due to Keira Knightly being 17 when they filmed it. Being the UK however the legal ruling on nudity was different than what it is here and her parents signed off on her showing some skin in that. and well the rest is history. Just thought i’d play the role of the informant not the one with Matt Damon though.

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