Sunday, 27 September 2020

The Hole in the Ground

This was an interesting little film which couldn't quite find its place in genre. Staged as a spooky kind of horror, but with suspense and mystery thrown in for good measure. On the face of it, a simple story until the viewer starts to understand what might be going on under the layers.

A woman and her son move to a new countryside town in Ireland following an apparent breakup with the father of the boy elsewhere. There's a scar on her head which she tries not to talk of and seems to tell lies about when asked. There's an incident on the road where they seem to drive into one person dressed in black, all very spooky, so they flee - but not before the cloaked figure locks eyes with the boy.

One night soon after they move in, the boy seems to disappear into the woods at the back of their house, in the middle of nowhere. Mum follows him and discovers a whacking great big hole in a clearing in the middle of the woods and some eerie goings-on. She goes home and finds the boy in the house. Next day there's another incident on the road where an old, apparently demented woman looks at the boy and tells mum that it is not her son.

Things go from bad to worse for mum, she starts taking happy-pills and the viewer is invited to question her mental state in relation to the whole story, pretty much. There's much more to come in terms of the hole in the ground and the behaviour of the boy and people around them. It's all very odd and we really need to decide at some point whether this is a spooky ghost-type story or it's just mum being a fruit-loop!

The atmosphere is created very nicely by director Lee Cronin, the sets are eerie, dark and moody, reflective of the tone of the film and story. Not any silly scare-jump moments to speak of but rather layered suspense with some excellent supporting music. The pair in the lead roles do very well, Seána Kerslake as mum and James Quinn Markey as the boy. Kerslake presents all the range of emotions you might expect as anxiety builds on anxiety for her - and those with smaller roles fill them admirably.

It's a neat film which might leave you thinking that if this really is a horror/spook/mystery then there are some unanswered questions at the end, but it certainly makes you think as you track what might or might not be going on. Worth a spin, for sure.

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