Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Sydney Film Festival is wrapped up for 2019! Click here to check out our must-see films with the SWITCH team's reviews.x
review, The Hole in the Ground, The, Hole, in, the, Ground, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, Miro Lopperi, John Quinn, David Crowley, Sarah Hanly, Eoin Macken, Kati Outinen, Steve Wall, Simone Kirby, Lee Cronin, Horror film rating

THE HOLE IN THE GROUND

★★★

STYLISH BUT FAMILIAR IRISH HORROR

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
31st March 2019

Sarah O'Neill (Seána Kerslake) drives to the Irish countryside with her young son, Chris (James Quinn Markey). A large scar on her forehead is hidden by a fringe of hair, and it's implied that she is fleeing an abusive husband. The house she has rented is next to a forest. Sarah soon discovers that a large sinkhole lies at its center. When they arrive in the village, Sarah almost has a collision with an old woman (Kati Outinen, ‘The Other Side of Hope’) standing in the middle of the road, whose bearish husband, Des (James Cosmo, ‘Wonder Woman’), comes to take her back to their house. A few days and several creepy goings-on later, Sarah has another encounter with the troubled older woman, who warns her that her son is no longer her son...

Lee Cronin and cinematographer Tom Comerfeld clearly expended a lot of effort in crafting a dread-inducing atmosphere and nailing down the look of the film. ‘The Hole in the Ground’ has some neat directorial flourishes, like a close-up of Chris’ hand (viewed from under a closed door) as it crawls, spider-like, across the floor of his bedroom, and the visual connection between the hole and the human iris. The expert use of lighting and framing to obscure some of the more supernatural occurrences in the film and a reliance on practical effects over CGI is also refreshing.

'THE HOLE IN THE GROUND' TRAILER

The acting is top-shelf. James Quinn Markey is innocent-looking but unfathomable as Chris (or possibly his evil doppelgänger). Seána Kerslake has an expressive face, with large eyes - all the better for conveying her confusion, uncertainty and dawning terror. Kerslake embodies the dread that would accompany knowing in your gut that your child is not your child, but at the same time not being able to convince yourself of the truth.

The chief weakness of ‘The Hole in the Ground’ is the sheer amount of similarities it bears to other horror films (including a few recent Irish ones). Bryan Bertino’s ‘The Monster’ and Jennifer Kent’s ’The Babadook’ both did a better job with the mother's guilt idea. Sinister toddlers and changelings lurking in the woods of Ireland have already been explored (albeit with a lot less finesse and subtlety) in David Keating’s ‘Wake Wood’ and Corin Hardy’s ‘The Hallow’. Ciaran Foy’s ‘Citadel’ dealt with a parent attempting to raise a child in the aftermath of a traumatic event (and also featured James Cosmo). Even a few of the musical cues are reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ and James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’.

Seána Kerslake has an expressive face, with large eyes - all the better for conveying her confusion, uncertainty and dawning terror. Kerslake embodies the dread that would accompany knowing in your gut that your child is not your child, but at the same time not being able to convince yourself of the truth.

The script (written by Cronin and Stephen Shields) struggles to juggle an inherently interesting premise (is Sarah worried that Chris been replaced by a supernatural entity, or that he has inherited his father’s violence?) with some by-the-numbers, jump-scare moments, as well as a couple of uninteresting or underdeveloped characters. In the hands of a less talented director, this film could have turned out terribly.

Despite its flaws, ‘The Hole in the Ground’ boasts strong direction, cinematography, acting and some eerily effective locations. The sombre, gloomy tone is strong throughout and it holds tension well enough at key points. Lee Cronin is definitely a horror director to watch out for – I just hope that he’ll choose a juicier script for his next project and avoid getting snapped up by James Wan to direct a sequel to ‘The Nun’.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 12/04/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 30m
CAST: Seána Kerslake
James Quinn Markey
Miro Lopperi
John Quinn
David Crowley
Sarah Hanly
Eoin Macken
Kati Outinen
Steve Wall
Simone Kirby
DIRECTOR: Lee Cronin
WRITERS: Lee Cronin
Stephen Shields
PRODUCERS: Conor Barry
John Keville
SCORE: Stephen McKeon
www.TheHoleInTheGroundFilm.com
TheHoleInTheGround
HITGmovie
HoleInTheGroundMovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Yesterday - A new British comedy with a little help from The Beatles
TRENDINGWIN YESTERDAYA new British comedy with a little help from The Beatles
Yesterday - Great concept, disappointing execution
TRENDINGYESTERDAYGreat concept, disappointing execution
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
Toy Story 4 - Entertaining but thoroughly unnecessary
TRENDINGTOY STORY 4Entertaining but thoroughly unnecessary
Claire Darling - A French film fail
TRENDINGCLAIRE DARLINGA French film fail
The Final Quarter - Tackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
TRENDINGTHE FINAL QUARTERTackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
My Big Gay Italian Wedding - A ridiculously fun love story
TRENDINGMY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDINGA ridiculously fun love story
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
TRENDINGPARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
Saturday Afternoon - A shocking and abrasive assessment of terrorism
TRENDINGSATURDAY AFTERNOONA shocking and abrasive assessment of terrorism
The Third Wife - Artistic, painful and beautiful
TRENDINGTHE THIRD WIFEArtistic, painful and beautiful
Kursk - When tragedy and bureaucracy collide
TRENDINGKURSKWhen tragedy and bureaucracy collide
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
The Nightingale - A blunt and brutal period piece
TRENDINGTHE NIGHTINGALEA blunt and brutal period piece
Blinded By The Light - The spiritual sequel to Bend It Like Beckham
TRENDINGBLINDED BY THE LIGHTThe spiritual sequel to Bend It Like Beckham
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir - An endearing tale of destiny
TRENDINGTHE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIRAn endearing tale of destiny
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us