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Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Joe Dante
Cast: Haley Bennett, Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo, Bruce Dern
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Frightening Scenes)
Official Website: http://www.theholein3d.com

Opening Day: 2 September 2010


From director Joe Dante ('Gremlins') comes a family-friendly 3D adventure that explores the fears and secrets buried in the mind of kids. After moving into a new neighborhood, brothers Dane & Lucas and their neighbor Julie discover a bottomless hole in the basement of their home. They find that once the hole is exposed, evil is unleashed. With strange shadows lurking around every corner and nightmares coming to life, they are forced to come face to face with their darkest fears to put an end to the mystery of THE HOLE.

Movie Review:

Joe Dante, who is best known for his classic in the 80s, Gremlins, and family friendly films which are packed with action and humour like his last feature-length film, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, is back with this horror-thriller, The Hole. It is shot in eye-popping 3D and has even won a prize at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. But is it really as promising as it seems?

Basically, the film explores fears at different levels with the audience. Firstly, there was Lucas’ (Nathan Gamble) rather comical fear of clown/jester. You would probably pity the little boy and gasp a time or two when the clown/jester gave chase. However beyond that, there’s nothing much to look forward to. The other two fears that were brought to prominence was Julie (Haley Bennett) and Dane’s (Chris Massoglia) deep buried fears. The way that the fears were unveiled was rather well paced and spiced up with the horror features. They could probably be improved if there were stronger dialogues that allow the characters to discuss their fears. However the guess is that it wasn’t in priority because after all, the movie is aimed at the largely apathetic teenage audiences.

The main characters are rather young, with the average age not exceeding 18 years old. You probably remember Haley Bennett, who plays Julie, for her outlandish film debut in Music and Lyrics. She’s a pretty face, and a potential eye candy for the boys. Chris Massoglia, who plays Dane, possesses above average intelligence but it is definitely not reflected in his acting in this movie. Last but not least, Nathan Gamble who plays Lucas, is a promising young talent who was nominated twice for Young Artist Award with The Mist and Babel in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The elaborated introduction of them goes to show that they are talents capable of good delivery. But it seems that this movie lacked good acting from these talents. Or maybe, it was not expected of them and there was little room for them to bring out their real fearful faces onscreen.

As abovementioned, this movie is filmed in 3D and had even won a prize. There must be some justification as to how this execution of this movie via the 3D platform has served us well. To add on to the horror factors, point-of-view shots were used such that it leads the viewer to anticipate what they are going to see. That is used very appropriately, coupled with the added dimension, to increase the scary factor. This stimulation is probably pertinent such that it may appeal to the hyper aroused generation seeking for cheap thrills like this.

Other factors that are really crucial in creating a successful horror/thriller are the atmosphere created by both the supernatural happenings and the sound effects. The 'ghosts' are quite creepy at first, but later lost it because the distinction between them and the 3 main characters erodes. Also, the sound effect was more or less the same. So once you hear it in the background, you can almost immediately know what is going to come. In other words: predictable.

Like any other movies aimed at the teens, you can almost always expect an ending that leaves the viewer with positive energy. In this aspect, this movie has definitely made the mark. All else is just pretty average.

Movie Rating:

(If horror films are supposed to elicit fear, panic and shock from the viewers, this film is lacking)

Review by Tho Shu Ling


. Shorts (2009)

. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

. Inkheart (2008)

. City Of Ember (2008)

. Journey To The Centre of the Earth (2007)

. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)

. The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

. Bridge To Terabithia (2007)

. Charlotte's Web (2006)

. Zathura (2005)


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