If you’re looking for a mild-horror flick to fill in your lazy Sunday afternoon Lee Cronin’s The Hole in the Ground is not a terrible choice. Directed by Cronin and written by Cronin and Stephen Shields The Hole in the Ground doesn’t make evening quality viewing but for the afternoon it just makes the cut.
The film deals with one of my favorite subject matters when it comes to horror, body snatching or the replacement of people with something…else. In the film a mother Sarah, played by Irish actress Seána Kerslake (Dollhouse (2012)) suspects that her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) may not be her son after an incident where he was shortly missing.
The film looks good. Cronin and cinematographer Tom Comerford provide beautiful landscapes and detailed set pieces that the camera lovingly lingers on creating a rich atmosphere for the proceedings to play out. If a film features a place I wouldn’t mind visiting it’s doing a good job in terms of creating an environment.
The dialogue is lean and direct. Nothing verbose or wasted. Cronin opts to take full advantage of the visual medium and usually conveys visually what some might do through words. Seána Kerslake does a good job of turning from loving mom to Doubting Thomas in regards to her son. James Quinn Markey is better than Reilly Murphy in Body Snatchers (1993) but not as good as Jodelle Ferland in Case 39 (2006). Which puts him in the okay range for kids-gone-bad portrayals.
So why isn’t it worth watching during prime-time hours?
The best part of the film is the build-up to the reveal. Unfortunately after we understand what exactly is going on things…deteriorate. A lot of this stems from poor story decisions that will lead to many groans from the viewer. Basic physics and human physiology are shuddered in favor of keeping the plot afloat.
In addition, there are several layers of implausibility or out and out selfishness regarding the protagonist that may leave some scratching their heads or even tossing profanity at the screen.
All that being said, a film that provokes a reaction is better than a film that provokes no reaction at all.
The Hole in the Ground is streaming on Amazon Prime.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Hardly any that I could see…enjoy!
There’s no father in the picture. It’s alluded that she is not with him because of abuse. The film features a strong male character so there is no reason to suspect that this is an anti-male statement.