Newest Review: ... be a family horror film along the lines of Gremlins and indeed the director responsible for that 80's classic, Joe Dante is the director h... more
Not a Hole lot of fun...
The Hole (3D Blu-ray)
Member Name: SpiderJamb
The Hole (3D Blu-ray)
Advantages: Good 3D effects, Nice dynamic between the three leads
Disadvantages: Too much build up, Poor "villains"
The Hole is the latest film by Joe Dante, who brought us the classic kids films, Gremlins and Small Soldiers. Known for infusing a more adult flavour to his kids films, there was a devilish hint of horror in both of aforementioned works. However, with The Hole, it seems that he has lost a little of that spark as the end result seems lacking that extra punch that Dante was known for.
The story opens up with a single mother bringing her two kids, Dane and Lucas, to a new home. It becomes clear that they have been moving houses multiple times for some unknown reason, but the mother seems insistent that this will be the last time. The two brothers seem to be distant until they discover a strange trapdoor in their basement, complete with six padlocks. Once they unlock it, they find that it seems to be a never-ending hole of darkness that defies physics. They attempt to close the hole, but something is inside it which wants to come out...
The biggest issue with The Hole is that most of the 90 minutes running time seems to be pre-occupied with setting up the suspense and tension, rather than dealing with the threat. It also feels rather predictable in places, with some of the 'twists' fairly well telegraphed in advance. Aside from it's 3D effects, there is little originality in the film, which is disappointing considering the prior movies that Joe Dante had made were so ground-breaking. The film seems to be very similar to the "Goosebumps" and "Are you Afraid of the Dark" TV series that ran on Nickelodeon. It's very tame 'horror' where it's mainly suspense and little actual scares. Some of the reviews I'd read before watching said that it was scary enough to make adults jump out of their skin, but I didn't feel particularly scared during any scenes.
The storyline seemed reminiscent to Jumanji, with the new family moving into the strange house, unaware of the danger residing within. However, instead of the visually dynamic scenes of animals whooshing out of a board game, we have a few scary nightmarish creatures coming out of a hole. I feel that the film was missing a lot of potential in limiting itself down in the way it did. Rather than attempting to use a horror-style, perhaps a full-blown fantasy element would have worked better.
The two boys were well acted, as was the cute girl next door. The only famous name in the film was their mother, played by "Meet the Fockers" star, Teri Polo, but she had very little to do in the film, only really appearing to be an adult influence and a break in the spookiness. There was a neat cameo from Dick Miller, who has appearing in every one of Joe Dante's films, most notably in Gremlins as Mr Futterman, the crazy old man harassed by the Gremlins.
Overall, I found the film to be dull in places and lacking in originality. It seemed better suited to an hour long TV movie, rather than a full theatrical release. The 3D effects were impressive and there were numerous shots that took advantage of this, but beyond being a showcase for how 3D graphics have improved, there is very little story here.
>Plays in 2D or 3D (3D TV & 3D Blu-Ray Player Required for 3D playback)
>Behind the Scenes Documentary
Summary: Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination