Cinema loves creepy kids and through out film history, the cannon of eerie siblings wanting your every whim. In Lee Cronin’s The Hole In The Ground it will challenge you to ask yourself one question. Is that your child next to you? Are you sure?!
The past few years its been quiet a resurgence for the horror genre. The hyperbole has been in overdrive and with those films went through A24 Films (UK is Vertigo Releasing). It’s been the place for the latest indie horrors (Hereditary, The VVitch, Under The Skin), coming directly from Sundance Film Festival with great buzz. It lives up to the hype, getting under your skin, frankly it will play with your with your mind…especially if your a parent.
In The Hole In The Ground, we meet Sarah O’Neill(Seána Kerslake)escaping her broken past, moving with her son Chris (James Quinn Markey).She buys an old house on the fringes of a small town on the edge of a forest, secluded perfect for a fresh new start.
Before Sarah even started on scrapping the old wallpaper of the walls of her new house, she has an ecounter with a mysterious old woman. It leaves her nerves shattered and more apprehensive. When things finally start to fall in place, Chris disappears in the middle of the night. Sarah goes searching for him in the forest, only to find his favourite toy soldier, and an ominous gaping sinkhole.
When she returns to her house in despair, Chris is waiting for her. After noticing his unusual behaviour, Sarah confronts Chris about the toy and going into the forest. After learning some information she starts to question herself, if the boy who came back from the forest is really her boy.
If your looking for those big scare jumps, your looking in the wrong place. The Hole In The Ground is a slow unnerving atmospheric horror that plays on your primal fears. Most of all Lee Cronin walks all over parents worst nightmares and parental anxieties.He keeps things simple, exploiting your mind and forcing you to ask yourself, is that your child sitting next to you? Are you sure?
You do get plenty of time to invest Sarah and Chris when he disappears it’s hearts in mouth moment. Like a parent who takes their eyes of their kids for one second, they’re gone a hearts in mouth moment.
Cronin pushes Seána Kerslake to the edge, throwing every human emotion par the kitchen sink at her. Making her life a living nightmare, making her think everything is an figment of Sarah’s imagination. Her relationship with Chris is believable and genuine, the pair deliver are superb.
The film doesn’t hide away from what influenced it. From the opening shot in the credits (The Shining), The Descent, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The atmospheric tone of The VVitch, even the psychological thriller Goodnight Mommy.
It’s not about what has inspires The Hole In The Ground, but what you do with that influence. Cronin has crafted a well made effective genre piece plays on that unnerving trepidation. A reminder that our little angels we raise can be our worst nightmares too.
Horror, Thriller | Ireland, 2019 | 1st March 2019 (UK) | Vertigo Releasing | Dir.Lee Cronin | Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, James Cosmo