IFTA Best Film 2019 | The Hole in the Ground

Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos

Directed by Lee Cronin

Horror, especially supernatural horror, has seen something of a revival over the past few years. Directors like Jordan Peele, Jennifer Kent, and Ari Aster have all made thought-provoking yet unnerving films, and helped to undo a lot of the reputational damage done by the mindless cheap scare fests that haunted the genre about a decade ago. In this context, The Hole in The Ground is somewhat disappointing in how little it has to say.

The setting is cliche; a woman and her son move, fatherless, to a creepy house adjacent to a scary woods, deep in rural Ireland. Their new neighbor is an insane old woman who wonders the woods, whispering to herself. The son has trouble settling in, and deep in the scary woods is a sinister hole.

Despite its unoriginality, the film gets many things right. Seána Kerslake is excellent as our protagonist, convincing us to fear for her child’s safety as much as she does. A supporting cast that includes James Cosmo also serves the film well. The framing and camerawork for many scenes gives the appearance of a painting without distracting from the story with pretentious or overwrought visuals.

The Hole in The Ground is ultimately a beautifully shot and well executed horror film, although it lacks either originality or the depth of many of its recent genre counterparts.

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