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4.3 out of 5 stars139
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2011
Let's get this out of the way first: as far as characters go, this is every film aimed at young teens or children you've ever seen. Big brother is devoted to little brother but spends most of the film pretending he hates him. Little brother is a touch weird and gets into lots of mischief. Headstrong girl next door that big brother fancies decides to get involved in their capers. Mom is too busy to notice anything going on.
Got that? OK. So far so standard.
The amusing hook of this film is that the new home they've just moved into has a hatch in the floor that may or may not be a gateway to hell, and once opened, weird and creepy things start happening.
These aren't too creepy or gruesome - after all, this is a family movie - but any kids with a clown phobia will have an amusing time, and there are some smart shocks with traps, creepy near escapes, and some funny gags where the kids have to try to explain why they're acting strangely to Mom.
Like Gremlins in style and pacing due to the same director Joe Dante's talented hand, this isn;t quite as much of a classic but does have a lot of fun performances and many entertaining set pieces. And if it does feel a bit patronising with its cod-psychology here and there, the inventive design, caper-film feel and exciting ending still make it one that's worth watching. Fun and nostalgic.
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on 9 December 2010
I took my eight year old son and 12 year old niece to see this film at the cinema. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it however it was Halloween and I thought I would give them both a treat.
As The Hole is marketed at a younger audience, I thought it may come across as silly and perhaps a little patronising. Thankfully the writer and director have credited their audience with having a brain and have created a film that is intelligent, well written, atmospheric, suspenseful and more than a little bit creepy.
The special effects were impressive, the actors believable and the `scares' well conceived. I was pleasantly surprised or should that be un-pleasantly surprised given what this film's about. It even made me jump once or twice and, as anyone who knows me can confirm, that doesn't happen often.
Whether or not this film should be a 12A I couldn't say. Strangely enough, my son (eight) loved the film and didn't find it scary whereas my niece (12) was scared out of her wits and remained so long after the film ended. I suppose it depends on the individual. Perhaps mum or dad could watch it first and decide whether it's the stuff of nightmares.
This mum's view - Thoroughly entertaining and well worth a watch.
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on 12 July 2011
I only bought this because it was in 3D and I've just bought 3D tv, I didn't really expect too much.
It's a classic storyline to begin, they move into a new house, find something in the celler etc........its rated 12, so not that scary, seen it all before..... Wrong.
The little girl, the clown, the policeman. The way they slither into the box, the dad, this was a really good film, good story line, fantastic 3D experience. If i hadn't know it was a 12, i'd have thought it was a 15 or 18 classification.
You'll find yourself shouting, omg don't go into the cellar, pool, bedroom and wanting to look away, but not being able to tear your eyes away.
Fantastic film, definitely worth buying. This is a definate 5 star movie.
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How satisfying... clearly, the film has a younger generation in mind, with the main protagonists being of teen and pre-teen age.. and yet, this is a film that has appeal for all ages. Indeed, as it says on the tin, a family movie. One would almost be tempted to say that this has an old fashioned appeal to it, a pre-torture porn innocence in its horror motifs.. a Gremlins [Blu-ray] [1984][Region Free] for a new generation. How fitting that this is the return of Joe Dante to the big screen.
It's a deceptively slender tale - the titular hole is discovered, suitable padlocked and sinister, in the basement of the house our young heroes have just moved in to. With the (literal and figurative) girl next door, the hole is unlocked - and darkness enters their lives, as they start to face their inner fears. This leads to some genuinely spine tingling moments, and occasional spooky scares. Creepy limping girls and manic puppet clowns are just the start...
The final act has little surprises in store, and does not entirely live up to the nicely paced and tension generating build up, but still manages some intriguing and expressionistic ideas which presumably made the 3D worthwhile in the cinema. On the smaller screen these tend to stand out as "oh, that must have been the 3D moment" moments, in a slightly distracting way,however.
Were it not for the age of the actors on screen, I would be surprised to hear this was skewed at younger demographics.. it was satisfying enough for me as an adult, and spooky enough to appease my need for thrills. But as I look back on it, it had none of the gore that seems so de rigeur these days, and clean language as well as a surprisingly positive theme about facing fears, making it suitable for those that might otherwise blanche at the excesses of most `scary' movies. If I had kids that were getting tired of Disney and keen to sample something `more adult', they could do a lot worse than this. But don't feel you need kids to give this a whirl.. stick it on, turn it up, turn the lights down, and lose yourself in some old fashioned movie making - in a good way. I for one am glad to see Joe Dante back doing what he does best....
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 April 2012
The Hole is directed by Joe Dante and written by Mark L. Smith. It stars Haley Bennett, Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo and Bruce Dern. Music is by Javier Navarrete and cinematography by Theo van de Sande.

When the Campbell family move from New York City to the quiet town of Bensonville, they find a strange trap door down in the basement. Once opened it unleashes much strangeness into the lives of brothers Dane (Massoglia) and Lucas (Gamble), as well as pretty girl next door, Julie (Bennett).

You have got a gateway to hell under your house and that's really cool!

Ah, the family frightener, where the hell have you been Joe Dante? Pitched firmly at the horror loving family from 12 years and upwards, The Hole blends Goonie like adventure with Spilebergian spookery, making this a nice accompaniment (apero) to J.J. Abrams' Super 8 that surfaced two years later. The violence isn't overt, but film has nifty passages of chills, especially if you have a fear of clown puppets and the like. The mystery element stays strong for a good portion of the piece, where viewers are made to wonder what is down in the hole because it's not instantly apparent, and there's subversive humour stitched into the narrative. Dante refinds his set-piece mojo and once again proves to be adept at directing youngsters: The three principal young performers here turn in real effective performances, while Dern (wonderfully batty) and Polo put a professional cloak over proceedings.

It is invariably going to be too tame for the blood craving horror fanatic, and in truth the finale is just a touch too overblown. But that's just nit-picking, for this is a thoroughly enjoyable family friendly spooker. Made with care and attention to detail, and yes, with love. Cheers Joe. 7/10
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on 4 June 2013
For a 12 rating,this is creepier than i thought it would be,plus for a film i remember being laid into a little when it came out,it's not half bad.
There's these 2 brothers who are forced to move with their mother to another house,another city,for reasons given as the movie goes on. They discover a covered and padlocked hole in the basement. It seems this hole is bottomless,they capture the neighbour's interest,she's already caught the older brother's interest and they start to wonder what is with ths hole,all she knows is the previous owner of the house was a bit weird.
Now the hole has been opened,odd things start to happen,the girl sees a traumatized little girl,with a creepy and odd walk. The young lad sees a clown doll seemingly haunting him and just freaking him out. It soon becomes clear that they have to sort out the mystery of the hole before it gets the better of them.

This could be seen as a film about facing up to your fears before they manifest themselves into demons and destroy you.
Perhaps it's a little slow at times,but i'd say it's done very well,it kept my interest. Some compare it to THE GATE from years ago,it's got something of that to it,but i'd say it stands up on it's own as a teen horror of sorts. I'm far older than a teen,but i was impressed.
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on 14 February 2012
I love the horror genre and I want to pass this passion for the macabre to my nephews, but how? The vast majority of horror films are gore filled slash-athons unsuitable for the younger eye, but every now and again a film comes out that acts as a `My First Horror Film'. `Monster House' did this and now `The Hole' can be added to the list - a super generic horror title, but one that is more suitable to watch for a 12 year old than the `A Nightmare on Elm Street' and `Critters' I started on.

`The Hole' indicates the strange orifice that brothers Dane and Lucas find in the basement in their new house. Along with the help of disturbingly nubile neighbour Julie, they decide to peak into the hole, not realising that it contains all their worst fears. This concept of people's own fears haunting them is not new (just see the mentioned Freddy films), but with `The Hole' it is done in a soft enough way that will thrill a younger generation, but not terrify them. Joe Dante is a talented film maker and he knows his genre work. With his a wealth of experience and knowledge to fall back on, he is able to cherry pick the classic structure and scares that make a horror film.

On the positive note this makes the film a great introduction to the bog standard horror film template, but on the negative it is truly bog standard in nature. To anyone who has seen more than 5 horror films you will be able to follow the exact beats of the film; the scares are signalled about 30 seconds before they come. The film also suffers from an expansion into the surreal towards the end. Light chills are replaced with confusion - whilst one storyline has an effecting conclusion at a fun fair, another goes far too strange. Despite the ending unravelling there is still enough in the film to make it a decent watch, especially for kids 8-12 looking for some minor scares.

The film was originally shown as a 3D presentation in cinemas, but the BluRay version I saw did not greatly suffer for being in 2D. The extras have some interesting behind the scenes footage and will act as a great way to show anyone who got a little scared that it was all a movie - see how they did it.
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on 20 June 2011
You may be a bit confused over which review to believe. But for all of those who still have faith in the world I advise you to completely ignore the previous reviewers comment and listen to this (my Blu-ray.com review)

'The Hole' is actually a pretty decent film. I wasn't expecting much from it, but boy did it deliver. Going into this expecting another run-of-the-mill kids film I discovered that it was much more than that, much more of a dark, disjointed, psychological thriller, with some disturbing images such as a little dead girl crying tears of bloody and crawling down a hole akin to something from 'The Grudge' or a policeman lacking the back of his head.

The picture quality, especially the 3D, holds up well, and the color palette is very vibrant, even whilst viewing in 3D mode. Watching the movie in 3D is a whole new level of entertainment, and it is one of the best discs out there for lack of crosstalk (which is only a slight problem in about one or two shots of the whole film - if that) So I would definitely recommend that if you are looking for another 3D movie that was natively shot in 3D, has a great depth to it (that completely adds to the films immersive experience) and practically no crosstalk then go for this, you will not be disappointed.

Overall not only was this a great film, but this is a great disc, the extras may be lacking and feel a bit too much like promotional material but the 3D on the disc is vastly superior to a lot of other discs out at the moment, and is definitely demo-disc material worthy. I would probably place this 3D disc just behind Avatar in terms of depth and quality, but way above lacklusture 3D titles such as Piranha or Clash of the Titans.

So, anyone who shares my opinion please take the time to review this and get it up to the (at least) 4 stars it deserves.
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on 2 December 2011
I bought this disc because I wanted to try out my new 3D setup and it seemed like a fun movie. As a horror fan, especially the gory ones, I thought the movie disappointed as a straight-up horror movie. That's my fault for not reading reviews on IMDB. However, the movie did not disappoint as a whole because it was well-done; the story that sounds like a cliché-ridden a dime a dozen horror flick is in fact different (and better, intelligent) fare than usual. I am usually a bit apprehensive about movies where children are playing one of the lead roles because they can get annoying and dominate the movie sometimes, but in this case the little brother did an excellent job, playing his part with a great sense of humor and good acting.

On with the added value of the 3D version. 3D was subtle, hardly ever gimmicky and it really helped my immersion in the movie. I watched a bit of it in 2D because I was disappointed by the effect at first, but then I realized that 3D does add depth to this movie (duh...), not only in the literal sense but also helping you to get drawn into the story.

All in all, this is a well done movie that I would give 3 stars if it was a 2D movie, but I added one star for the effective 3D. Just don't expect a bloody horrorfest.
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on 14 October 2010
The hole 3D absolutely scaed the pants off me. This film is a great taster for real horror for younger kids who like getting scared. The tension in it was unbearable. It makes you want to get out but you just can't.
In it there is a little girl who cries blood, says she doesn't want to die and walks like she is being wound up like a clock. There is also is a clown who just appears everywhere, laughs and continuously tries to kill a little boy by throwing stuff at him or trying to drown him.
The story follows Dane (Chris Mossogolia) and his liittle brother finding a hole in there basement (hense the name). It is said that when the darkness inside the hole see's you it brings your worst fears to life and they come to haunt you. There is so much tension in it. There is lots of lights going out, doors being locked and the door knobs being mysteriously turned. With the help of the girl next door, the brothers try to fight the things coming out of the hole but with nobody to help, it will be difficult.
I don't understand what on earth they were thinking when they rated this film a 12a. Ive already mentioned the girl who looks like death. There is also a policeman who looks pretty normal except for the fact he is suddenly in the house although the door is locked. But then he turns around and the back of his head was missing! This film should definately be a 15 for the reason it scares you half to death...
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