M.L. Miller here! Because you and I love the horror so much, I’ve decided to post a “Worth Noting” pick along with each of my Horror Countdown choices each day through October. The same rules apply. The film must have been released before September 30th, 2019 to the masses (no festival picks). This means that is available to view in theaters, On Demand, DVD/BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films.
How did I compile this list? Horror is such a broad and varied genre that sometimes, while these choices may not represent the best—something about the film is worth taking notice. Some of these films have similar themes to their counterparts in the main countdown. Some just missed the countdown by an inch or two. Others were just squozed in because there’s nothing like them out there. Others because they have been made available for the first time. One way or another, it’s more horror to enjoy!
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Worth Noting – THE HOLE IN THE GROUND!
A lot of people are putting this one on their best of lists. I think it’s a well made and well acted film, but honestly, I’ve seen this type of film a million times and about five times just this year. It still is worth checking out, but I didn’t think it had the stuff to crack my top 31. Released on February 26, 2019, here’s my review of THE HOLE IN THE GROUND! Available On Demand, digital download, & DVD/BluRay!
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND (2019)
Directed by Lee Cronin
Written by Lee Cronin, Stephen Shields
Starring Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, Simone Kirby, Steve Wall, Eoin Macken, Sarah Hanly, James Cosmo, Kati Outinen, Bennett Andrew, David Crowley, John Quinn, Miro Lopperi
Comparisons to HEREDITARY and THE BABADOOK are already being lobbed around when talking about THE HOLE IN THE GROUND. The Irish evil child/troubled mom flick doesn’t quite live up to those standards, but it is a brilliant and nuanced horror film.
Single mom Sarah (Seana Kerslake) and her son Chris (James Quinn Markey) move into a new town to start a new life. Things seem idyllic, save for the crazy woman who wanders the roadways in her nightie that Sarah barely misses with her car. After Sarah has an argument with her son, he runs out of the house and into the nearby forest. Sarah loses Chris momentarily, but finds him on the edge of a giant crater in the middle of the forest. Upon returning home, Chris begins to act differently. Sarah begins suspecting her son is not hers==the same suspicions that drove the crazy lady nuts. Or is Sarah just going off the deep end herself?
As with THE BABADOOK, THE QUIET PLACE, IT COMES AT NIGHT, HEREDITARY, and a few other notable horror films over the last few years, THE HOLE IN THE GROUND deals with the horrors of parenthood. Though I have no children myself, I could imagine that the biggest fear one can have is to lose a child. Piggybacking on that idea is the paranoia of those closest to you becoming something different. I could see a lot of parents who have a teenager relate to the horrors of suddenly not recognizing their child. While this horror seems to come from some kind of supernatural or paranormal origin, the theme is prevalent throughout. The main reason why I didn’t flip for this film is because the theme of parenthood and all of the horrific nuances one can approach it has been the subject of so many bigger budgeted horror films. That is the theme of THE BABADOOK—is the kid doing the evil shit or is the mom going nuts. In one way or another, many horror films balance on the fact that we don’t know if the horror is all in the protagonist’s head or not. Frankly. I know this is a horror film and unless the film is ballsy enough, it isn’t much of a surprise when the horror turns out to be real (I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here since this reveal is in the preview).
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND is filled with fantastic cinematography, literally flipping the world we know upside down in the opening minutes. It sets up a lot of scares and ambiguity well. It is precisely acted and utilizes minimal CG and other effects expertly. In itself, it is a finely crafted film—one worthy of seeing. If not for the all too familiar themes at play, this film would be a must see. But if you’ve seen the hyped films from A4 (a company known for misleading hyperbole in their ad campaigns for HEREDITARY, IT COMES AT NIGHT, and THE VVITCH), you’re in for an experience that will feel like you’ve been there before. It’s still quite good, but I think there are other themes worth delving into besides the same old ones and THE HOLE IN THE GROUND just isn’t as good as A4’s previous horror releases.
WORTH NOTING SO FAR…
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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