Monday, June 27, 2011

REVIEW: The Hole (2001)

Director: Nick Hamm
Starring: Thora Birch, Keira Knightley, Desmond Harrington

This is one of those movies I just don’t know what to say about. The Hole is a 2001 horror/thriller/mystery mutt of a movie that has actors like Keira Knightley and Desmond Harrington in it, as well as a convincing and pretty well acted lead played by Thora Birch. This is a very British movie, with lots of accents and school uniforms and foggy skies and everything, complete with an extra dose of those ultra-frilly looking old houses. Oh yeah and lots and lots of murder, sex and blood. Welcome to England!

OK, OK, just kidding. The plot revolves around a girl named Liz (Birch) who is found bloody and screaming and taken to the hospital, where she says that she and some of her friends had a third party, this guy named Martyn (Daniel Brocklebank) lock them inside an old bunker for a weekend to party and get away from their oppressive totalitarian boarding school. However things got a little too wacky and then somehow, all of them ended up dead. The only problem is that Liz can’t remember what happened. Martyn says he wasn’t even involved…so what really happened? The movie will throw you for several loops along the way to finding out.

Mostly the problems with this movie are that the characters themselves are pretty boring. They’re decently acted, but their personalities suck and they aren’t really given enough depth for you to be totally drawn into the story. The reason you keep watching is because the plot itself is interesting – although even that’s a little sketchy, honestly. They really couldn’t find a better place to sneak off and hide than an ABANDONED BUNKER? Bunch of morons. I don’t have too much sympathy for ‘em.

But mostly the plot is pretty hooky, once it gets rolling. It takes a little while to get started, and initially it’s a bit confusing, but by the end I found myself interested. Another thing this does well is that it is sufficiently bloody and sick – but not overly so, never gratuitously. It’s just right. The film provides some honestly disturbing scenes near the end that will stick with you. The atmosphere is creepy and depraved, and when the violent stuff starts happening, you know the movie means it, because it has waited this long to show them to you, patiently.

So overall I liked The Hole. It’s original – fairly – and does what it sets out to do. The writing could have been more cohesive, but if you go in with an open mind I think you’ll like it. Just don’t lock the door. You don’t want to get trapped in this film’s odd little world.

None of the pics are mine...and DISCLAIMER, I have nothing against the British.