The Hole (2009)
written by Mark L. Smith
directed by Joe Dante
Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Gremlins (1984), Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), The ‘Burbs (1987). Yep, you can say I’m a fan of director Joe Dante and his extensive 80’s output of horror/sci-fi/fantasy films, replete with geeky references to classic B-movies and the work of animator Chuck Jones, in particular Looney Tunes (1930-1969). So when one day I saw there was a fairly recent Dante horror pic on Netflix, I was immediately curious and excited. Did he still have the touch?
Turns out he pretty much does. The Hole is a cool little throwback about two brothers who discover what seems like an bottomless pit in the basement of their new suburban home. They start to investigate with the aid of their spunky neighbor, and soon enough the hole reveals itself to be a dark passage to their worst fears, including a bullying father, a dead little girl, and of course… clowns. It’s all very simple but nonetheless effective, akin to a Stephen King short story. And as usual, Dante has fun with practical special effects, particularly during a climax that employs surreal set designs and forced perspective shots. Whats not to like?
Carlos I. Cuevas