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The Hole (2009)

  Tags: BenderSpink, Bold Films, Bruce Dern, Chris Massoglia, family, family friendly, Haley Bennett, Joe Dante, kids, Mark L. Smith, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo, the hole

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Joe Dante
92 minutes
Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Bruce Dern, Teri Polo

Director Joe Dante returns to his horror-ish, family-friendly roots with The Hole, a flick that seemed somewhat promising from the trailers. Unfortunately, although The Hole did successfully capture the feel of a fun semi-horror romp, this turned out to be your pretty standard genre yarn, with a mediocre and highly predictable premise. You'd never guess it was Joe Dante behind the camera, as it seemed like it could've been directed by any other person.

The story starts off interesting enough about a single mom and her two sons moving into a new house. As we know from horror flicks of the past, any movie that starts off with a family moving into a home never ends well, and there's no difference here. However, instead of an evil spirit or a killer with a grudge, we've got a mysterious hole in the basement...

Discovered by the teenaged Dane, his younger brother Lucas, and the neighbor girl Julie, the trio proceed to throw all sorts of objects into the dark pit, which seems to have no end to it. The group will soon discover that it's no ordinary hole, but a key to their deepest and darkest fears come to life.

The movie had a lot of potential to be an above-average and potentially memorable addition to the genre, but it just seemed to delve into far too familiar territory and just got worse as the story progressed. Don't get me wrong, there are quite a few aspects of the film I did like. For instance (as said earlier) it does successfully capture a fun family-friendly atmosphere, which is rare in the genre now-a-days.

I also liked a majority of the scenes involving the Jester toy and was happy that they opted to stick with practical effects and steer clear of CGI. There are a couple somewhat creepy scenes and nods to past genre (and Joe Dante) pics the help keep the viewer on their toes, along with some comedic and horror elements that don't seem as "family friendly" as you'd expect.

Some plot-holes are apparent throughout the pic, like the logic behind why the kids decide not to tell their mom that the basement is not only home to rats and old boxes, but also an endless black hole. Speaking of which, the mother character was pretty much useless the entire movie, only popping on screen for minutes at a time before disappearing again. The film also became rather silly and over-the-top by the end, ruining any chance of removing itself from mediocrity.

The Hole is unfortunately neither a good nor a bad film, but simply a mediocre one. The movie doesn't really boast much creativity behind it, and loses any sort of potential fairly early on. However, it is a fun "family-friendly" genre pic that should prove, if anything, to be an entertaining watch for a dull evening.

Posted on October 16, 2010 - 8:18pm | FrighT MasteR