HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hole, The Don't You Open That Trap Door
Year: 2009
Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo, Bruce Dern, Quinn Lord, John DeSantis, Douglas Chapman, Mark Pawson, Peter Shinkoda, Jonathan Bruce, Merritt Paterson, Ali Cobrin, Chelsea Ricketts, Chord Overstreet, Wade Williams, Dick Miller
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dane Thompson (Chris Massoglia) and his younger brother Lucas (Nathan Gamble) have just moved with their single mother to this smalltown address, and he is not happy about this turn of events, but his mother (Teri Polo) tries to make him understand that they have had to make this adjustment thanks to reasons they'd rather not talk about. However, it's not all bad as he catches sight of the girl next door, Julie (Haley Bennett), and is immediately interested - Lucas on the other hand is more intrigued by the trapdoor they find in the basement...

Joe Dante returned to feature film directing after too long away with this unassuming but pleasing effort, not one of his best perhaps but enough to reassure his fans that he still had what it took to conjure up a solid fantasy movie. As with many of his horror-themed stories, this one from a script by Mark L. Smith, it had family audiences in mind, or at least those kids old enough to cope with relentless creepiness and the older generation who wanted to see a good chiller without worrying that things would get too intense. Even so, Dante worked up a degree of tension about the contents of the titular hole that cast a neat spell over the audience.

If there was a flaw, it was the big reveal about what precisely was going on was rather underfed as far as it went, but until that point the film harkened back to what for many at time of its release was a golden age of fantasy, horror and sci-fi pictures, the eighties, as this could easily have been created in that decade without much recourse to updating it for the twenty-first century. That sense of paying tribute to the Dante movies of old was what made the man himself the best chap for the job in bringing this to the screen, and everyone involved was sympathetic to what offered an entertainment in his style.

The main characters are the three introduced at the beginning, the two brothers and Julie whose interest in Dane has been piqued so she wanders over to see what's up, inadvertantly getting a look at the trapdoor that sits in the middle of the floor and is apparently bottomless, as when they throw odd bits of junk down into it, they never hear them hit the ground. In a way, this was actually the serious version of the half recalled animated series The Trap Door, where it would open and let out some monster or other for the five minute episode, causing comic problems for the cast. What emerges from this particular pit, however, is no laughing matter, consisting of ghosts and a Poltergeist-esque clown doll.

What these represent is nothing original, meaning the journey to reach the denouement is probably more enjoyable than the actual destination, but Dante littered the film with this signature technique, so yes, Dick Miller does show up if only for a few seconds, and the close knit, American neighbourhood depicted is one familiar from his previous works, so what he was providing was not exactly a stretch for him. Better to think of The Hole as an old pro playing a few tunes that his audience had grown to love, and if they didn't seem as fresh this time around, then at least in these hands there was no pandering or talking down to the audience most likely to appreciate it. Plus there was a message of standing up for yourself whether you're being bullied or something more unpleasant is going on, not hitting you over the head with it but still an improving theme should you care to look for it. If not, there were those amusing chills to keep you occupied - and a crazy Bruce Dern too, the best kind. Music by Javier Navarette.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1912 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Joe Dante  (1946 - )

American director of science fiction and horror, a former critic who got his big break from Roger Corman directing Hollywood Boulevard. Piranha was next, and he had big hits with The Howling and Gremlins. But his less successful films can be as interesting: Explorers didn't do as well as he had hoped, but illustrated the love of pop culture that is apparent in all his work.

Other films include flop sequel turned cult favourite Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace, the underrated The 'burbs, Matinee (a more obvious tribute to the movies of his youth), Small Soldiers, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Hole and Burying the Ex.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: