>> There’s nothing worse than a horror movie that lacks in chills, spills, and thrills. Luckily, A24 has been quite reliable with delivering engaging and entertaining scares. Their most recent horror release, The Hole in the Ground is beguiling, but will most likely not have an effect on your sleep schedule.
Directed by Lee Cronin, The Hole in the Ground follows Sarah (Seána Kerslake) and her son Chris (James Quinn Markey). In an attempt to build a new life, Sarah and her son move to a heavily wooded rural Irish town. After an unsettling encounter with a neighbor, Sarah notices a shift in Chris’ demeanor which sends her into a paranoid panic. She’s led to believe that her son's behavior is connected to a massive mysterious sinkhole she found in the woods.
The Hole in the Ground is a strong directorial debut from Cronin. The performances from both Kerslake and Markey are robust and at times gut-wrenching. Markey’s portrayal of a demonic-beast child is a prime example of why I will never have children. The films stylistic elements seem a bit dated, mainly the color correction which is straight out of a 2007 zombie flick. Yet, not all of the visuals are inherently terrible—most of them are pretty unsettling and strengthen the film’s tone.
The Hole in the Ground is a great horror film for those who are just beginning to dip their toes into the blood soaked waters of horror. It’s short and sweet, while also entertaining and a bit spooky. This film is not emotionally draining, but it will take your mental well being for a quick spin. While it doesn’t offer much innovation to the horror genre, it reaffirms the idea that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. 6.5/10
The Hole in the Ground premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and is releasing in limited theatres on March 1st.