Not to be confused with the 2001 British horror of the same name starring Keira Knightley, The Hole is a more teen and tween-oriented adventure that’s a terrific choice if your 12-year-old is begging to see a horror movie and you don’t fancy them being exposed to The Evil Dead just yet.
Directed by Joe Dante, who made the enjoyable Gremlins, it’s an occasionally scary, smartly scripted chiller for older kids as teen Dane (Massoglia) and his younger brother Lucas (Gamble) move into a new home with their mum (Teri Polo) and discover what a locked trap door in the floor of the basement. With the help of pretty neighbour Julie (Bennett), they break the locks and lift the lid to discover a seemingly bottomless hole. Uh oh.
Yes, the hole contains evil and the three kids have unwittingly unleashed it, so it’s not long before the brothers are being haunted by their worst nightmares – for Lucas this means freaky killer clown toys, for Dane something far more real and scary – and they realise that opening that door may not have been the best idea. It’s terrific stuff for older kids and a fun movie for grown-ups too as Dante pays homage to horror maestro Stephen King and classic movies like Poltergeist and The Ring. It’s a great introduction to things that go bump in the night and Dante’s best movie since Gremlins.
Is The Hole suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There shouldn’t be anything here that overly bothers the over 12s it is aimed at but some kids may find the clown toys and the ghostly young girl unsettling.
The final scenes in the hole are tense, too.