The Hole in the Ground
A young mother, Sarah and her young son Chris moves to their new home in the beautifully lush, Irish countryside. One night, Sarah’s son disappears into the woods behind their rural home, and when he reappears, he seems unharmed and unchanged, but his behavior grows increasingly disturbing. Sarah suspects that her son’s behavior is linked to an enormous sinkhole that is mysteriously hidden deep in the forest beside them, and soon begins to believe that the boy who returned may not be her son at all.
Sarah (Seána Kerslake), is a newly separated mother who has just purchased a house in a small remote village that overlooks a dark and thick forest. Sarah is trying to start a new life with her son and struggles to overcome her fears and a past that haunts her. Her son, Chris (James Quinn Markey), is coping with the idea that his father is no longer around while adjusting to his new school and the fact that he hasn’t made any new friends yet. At an awkward age, he is upset about the resent and changes in his life.
Soon after, Sarah and Chris have an argument over the fact that Sarah lied to him about his father joining them. Devastated with this new information, Chris runs off into the forest. An upset Sarah begins to frantically search for her son and eventually stumbles upon a giant crater in a clearing that looks like a meteor impact could have made. Failing to find him she returns home to where the boy is oddly waiting for her. It’s not long before she begins to notice he’s acting a bit bizarre, and he also seems to like all of the things her son disliked before. That’s when everything starts taking a turn for the worst.
Sarah and Chris also seem to have a very disturbing and creepy neighbor lady named Noreen, who they almost hit with their car, as she is just standing in the middle of the road soon after they arrive. Later, they have another encounter with Noreen, who they again find standing in the middle of the road. This time, Noreen approaches the car and becomes aggressively upset when her eyes fall upon Chris. She proceeds with shouting and banging her head on the car window, screaming at Sarah that Chris is “not her son.”
Now suspicious, Sarah decides to stay up one night to monitor her son’s behavior and shockingly witnesses him eating spiders, even though he had previously been incredibly arachnophobic. When she’s seen enough and finally confronts him, the Chris gets furious and shows impossible human strength, throwing her all around like a toy doll. The next day, she calls a doctor who amazingly tells her that everything is normal and not to worry. Deeply troubled and confused, Sarah starts to wonder if it’s the child or is it all the drugs she is taking?
Overall I think the movie did a great job of holding my interest in keeping it suspenseful enough for me to stay paying attention to what was happening. I’ve begun to realize that when A24 releases a new horror film, I stand up and take notice. They have released some of the best horror films to date, With The Witch, and Hereditary, both masterpieces in my opinion. All of the actors were very believable in their roles and did terrific jobs. A special shout-out to Chris, who was quite brilliant, and managed to pull off a few very chilling moments of dread.
The film no doubt managed to create a very eerie and dark atmosphere due to the excellent soundtrack and good cinematography. The directing, script delivery, camera shots, and overall audio are enough to scare even the most veteran horror fans. There weren’t buckets of blood or tons of jump scares in this film, there are however a few scenes in that gave me a very good fright and contains all the necessary suspense and thrills any horror movie should include. Although it is intelligently written, unfortunately, it lacks a small bit of explanation at the end. This isn’t actually a bad thing, as it allows the viewer to use their own minds. It’s a small Irish production with only a few characters, but it’s well worth a watch. Give this one a chance if you are in the mood for suspenseful slow-burn horror.
Title: The Hole in the Ground
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Mystery
Studio: A24/Lions Gate
Starring: Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, Kati Outinen
MPAA Rated: R
Director(s): Lee Cronin
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
Our Rating: 3.4 /5
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