The Hole in the Ground
Directed and co-written by Lee Cronin in his feature debut, The Hole in the Ground follows young mother Sarah (Seàna Kerslake), who’s world begins to unravel when she suspects her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) may have been replaced by an imposter after they discover a large sinkhole in the woods surrounding their new home. A disturbing and twisted tale of motherhood, this new indie horror takes viewers to the murky recesses of the filmmaker’s imagination to give us a new reason to be afraid of the woods.
While comparisons to Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook can be drawn here, this latest entry into the horror canon is an entirely different beast of its own. While it is more conventional in its execution than some of its contemporaries, the movie thankfully resists the urge to resort to jump scares and instead allows its uneasy atmosphere to derive naturally through beautifully bleak cinematography and nerve-shredding sound design that requires to be heard at high volume, creating a foreboding sensation that intensifies as the strange events continue to unfold to an intriguing climax. However, despite the horror’s dedication to deliver on its unique premise, Cronin doesn’t ramp the tension high enough to set his movie on the same level as Kent’s hit. Though unquestionably strange, it’s unlikely that it will cause its audience to lose sleep.
The biggest accomplishment here are the central performances by Kerslake and Markey, whose onscreen chemistry and commitment to their respective roles is what makes this compelling chiller all the more enticing. As the core of the narrative, Kerslake easily carries the bulk of the emotional weight, conveying a real sense of fragility and vulnerability that gets viewers invested in her plight. Markey, too, despite his young age, is excellent at portraying both lovable child and menacing monster and delivers many genuinely creepy scenes.
The biggest misstep of The Hole in the Ground is that it reveals all of its cards too early, depriving the central act of the ambiguity and mystery needed to sustain true terror to the end. Likewise, the film doesn’t seem to know where to go after this, resulting in a conclusion that doesn’t quite mesh with what came before.
The Hole in the Ground is released in select cinemas on 1st March 2019.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for The Hole in the Ground here: