The Hole (2001) starring Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Daniel Brocklebank, Laurence Fox, Keira Knightley, Embeth Davidtz, Steven Waddington directed by Nick Hamm Movie Review

The Hole (2001)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Thora Birch as Liz Dunn in The Hole (2001)

Bunker Thrill

Poor young Thora Birch, bedraggled and in a state of distress she stumbles up the long drive to a private school and when she makes a call she lets out a terrifying scream. That is the opening to "The Hole" and that immediately delivers connotations of some sort of horror which is part of the movie but just a part of the movie because in truth it is more of a mystery than horror. And it is not bad as a mystery although despite being only 102 minutes I wished it had been a bit quicker, especially during the second half which seemed to drag.

Now "the Hole" is one of those movies where the less you know the better but what I will say is that the first half is all about Liz Dunn's, played by Thora Birch, version of events as she is seen by a psychiatrist. Those events surround how Liz and her 3 friends bunked off of a school trip to Wales and ended up locked in an old military shelter where various things happened which lead to her returning to school in a right old state. In Liz's version of events she blames school geek Martyn for locking them in and leaving them there but we then get Martyn's version of events which suggest Liz is in fact a psychotic bitch that did it all.

Keira Knightley as Frankie in The Hole (2001)

Now that is as far as I am going to go because whilst the first half of "The Hole" focuses on Liz's version and then we get Martyn's version it boils down to 3 things, Who is telling the truth if anyone, what actually happened to Liz and her friends Frankie, Geoff and Mike in those days in the hole and will who ever is the person behind it get away with it. And it's not bad; the two versions play nicely off against each other that you even wonder whether Liz and Martyn are actually in cahoots in some major act of vengeance. And what actually happens to the 4 in the hole whilst a bit cliche has some darker horror moments which are nicely shot.

So "The Hole" basically works because it keeps us guessing for a while and when we do discover the truth we then wonder if the police will get to the bottom of it. But it is by no means perfect and whilst the cast which alongside Thora Birch also includes Keira Knightley and Laurence Fox the actual characters are for the most forgettable. Okay so the two characters of Liz and Martyn are a bit more interesting but that is purely because they are the ones central to what happened and so other than a brief flash of Keira Knightley's breasts the rest is forgettable. But the forgettable characters is not the only issue and in trying to create intrigue the second half sadly feels drawn out and in need of a shot of adrenalin to speed it up a bit.

What this all boils down to is that "The Hole" is an entertaining thriller which at the time featured a young cast of up and coming coming actors and actresses. For the most it is good but despite being only 102 minutes it feels sadly drawn out especially during the second half where more pace would have been welcome.