The Hole * * *

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Director: Joe Dante.
Screenplay: Mark L. Smith.
Starring: Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo, Bruce Dern, Quinn Lord, John DeSantis, Douglas Chapman, Mark Pawson, Dick Miller.

Is there any other director that can capture the adventurous imagination (Spielberg being a notable exception) like director Joe Dante? Done with the same awe and lighthearted feel that he brought with “InnerSpace”, “Explorers” & “Gremlins” and there’s even a shade of “The ‘Burbs” thrown in.

Doctor Susan (Teri Polo) uproots her two children, teen Dane (Chris Massoglia) and younger brother Lucas (Nathan Gamble), to that old cinematic staple, the small American town. Soon the kids, joined by literal gal-next-door Julie (Hayley Bennett), discover a bolted-up trapdoor in the basement, exposing a hole that’s seemingly endless and taps into each persons personal fears.

The master of the modern B-movie returns after a long hiatus and he hasn’t lost his touch, showing the same enthusiasm and tension we are used to from him. Much of the film is based on the relationships of the three young characters, rather than taking the most obvious root of diving straight into the action. When the action does happen, it’s impressively done, but unfortunately you can tell that it was intended to be viewed in 3D. On 2D it doesn’t have the same impact and this will probably be a common problem with films that rely heavily on that format. Nonetheless, it’s a well handled light horror that will appeal to all the family.

If your a fan of Dante’s earlier B-movie suburban adventure yarns, then you’ll find loads to enjoy with this recent addition.

Mark Walker

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