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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Hole


Starring: Teri Polo, Chris Massoglia and Haley Bennett
Entertainment One
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 17 January 2011

A single mother moves from New York to a small town called Bensonville, with her teenage son Dane and his younger brother Lucas. Dane is well-used to the constant upheaval of moving home. It has been happening since he was very young, but he can’t exactly remember why. His mother is out working for much of the daylight hours, leaving the boys to explore the house alone. In the basement they discover a heavily-locked hatch in the floor. When they manage to get it open, with the help of the sexy girl next door, they find a black and seemingly bottomless hole. From that moment on a series of life-threatening supernatural events occur, seemingly keyed to the greatest fears of the trio. The only answers would appear to come from the house’s previous owner, but he is far from lucid, and expecting imminent death...

I was a little reluctant to go and see this teen horror upon its original cinematic release. However, as I was in the company of others, I made the best of it amidst the hoards of screaming Duranies which seemed to comprise the audience. Hysteria aside, I didn’t really expect much from a 12 certificated chiller; with Joe Dante at the helm, it’s more logical to expect Gremlins than something infinitely more eerie.

The Hole should be a 15 certificate - not due to blood, sex or violence (of which there is little or none) - but because of the fundamental ability to creep the audience out. Yes, some age-old techniques are utilised for shock tactics, but never in a hackneyed or cliched manner. The characters are normal, identifiable but still fleshed-out. As for the script, seldom do you come across a story where there’s no padding; every event is significant and progresses the plot.

The essential idea explores the idiom, “Look not into the abyss, lest it look into you.” There are some ideas pilfered from other areas, such as the monochrome classic Dead of Night, and The Ring era East Asian horror, but what movie doesn’t borrow from somewhere these days? This is a great little film which hooks you in from the outset, and doesn’t shake you loose until the final credits. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the extra features, as I only received a burned copy - and even that was spoilt by periodic “Property of...” on-screen messages. I think I’ll run off some dodgy copies now and sell them from a suitcase in Oxford Street... Give me strength!!


Ty Power

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