Director: Lee Cronin
Cast: Seana Kerslake, James Cosmo, Eoin Macken, Kati Outinen
Movie Information and Synopsis from Google
One night, Sarah’s young son disappears into the woods behind their rural home. When he returns, he looks the same, but his behaviour grows increasingly disturbing. Sarah begins to believe that the boy who returned may not be her son at all.
Sarah and her son Chris move to a deserted woodland area. The single mother and her son have a close bond. Early on, it is hinted that Sarah may have been at the hands of domestic violence from Chris’s dad and seems to be upset when Chris asks or talks about him. “Why did we move here without him? It’s not that simple sweetie. “
The domestic violence is confirmed in a later scene at a doctor’s appointment.
A potentially fatal crash scene is shown in the first few minutes and both main characters are unhurt. A woman with a long white dress and a black cloak walks barefoot along the road while Sarah tries to figure out why she’s in the middle of the road in the first place. The woman continues to whisper to herself seemingly unaware that Sarah is trying to talk to her.
Sarah and her son return home. Chris asks about his dad before running off into the woods as Sarah chases after him. Sarah sees the hole in the ground. Chris stands behind her.
Later, Sarah attends dinner with friends as they talk about the woman she had seen earlier on the road.
Sarah hears a noise in the night and goes downstairs to see that the door is open. She goes out to find Chris who has disappeared and proceeds to call the police only for Chris to show up minutes later.
She gets sleeping tablets from the doctor. Around half an hour into the film, the woman is seen yet again. The woman’s husband comes outside to introduce himself. The woman begins to glare strangely at Chris who is seated in the passenger seat. The woman bangs her head on the window and repeatedly shouts he’s not your son. A frightened Sarah returns home with Chris.
Shortly after this event, Sarah begins to question if Chris is her son or if the young boy in her house is an imposter.
This movie was giving off Blair witch project and case 39 vibes. Some would say it even has a similar plot to the changeling. There was great acting from Seana Kerslake in this. After starring in various comedic roles (A date for mad Mary and can’t cope, won’t cope), I was surprised to see her star in a horror film. A talented Irish actress.
This mother – child horror plot has been done many times already. Emily and Lilith in “Case 39” and Christine challenging the authorities in “Changeling” had a very similar plot to “The Hole in the Ground”.
While the film was chilling at times, the unoriginal plot made it seem like the Irish Changeling. The film had its good moments with some creepy scenes. The first half of the film was well done and kept the audience entertained. However, shortly after the plot began to fall into a hole of its own as the movie had no direction and even I was confused as to what exactly was going on.
I’m glad the Irish have begun to take on horror movies. As a debut Irish horror, I would have to say the director Lee Cronin did pretty well. The cinematography was very well done and suited the film perfectly with the chilling atmosphere all the while keeping the colour palette the same throughout. Extra points for keeping the film bright throughout (I hate watching horrors where it’s dark the whole film and you can’t see a thing).
Yes, the plot was unoriginal but up until the final parts of the film, it was a fairly creepy Irish horror. Sadly, I was disappointed with the ending as instead of feeling pleased, I was very confused by the film’s conclusion. A good Irish horror debut.
Scare factor: 2
You can watch the trailer for The Hole in the Ground here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj18aFsAT1E