Posted in Movie Reviews, What I've Been Watching

I Watched The Hole (2001)

The Hole, directed by Nick Hamm, is a British psychological horror movie released in April 2001.

The movie stars Thora Birch (American Beauty) in the leading role and was the first major role for Keira Knightley in a feature film.
The images used in this post are covered under the Fair Use Act.

18 days after going missing with 3 of her peers, a dishevelled, and bloody Liz resurfaces and calls the police. She was later interviewed by Dr Philippa Horwood, played by Embeth Davidtz of Matilda fame, and recounts the events that had taken place.
She explains that her friend Martin had arranged for her and the others to spend the weekend in an underground shelter to avoid going on a field trip.

Liz has feelings for one of her peers, Mike, who is portrayed by Desmond Harrington. She is friends with popular student Frankie, played by Keira Knightley, who can convince the other students to go down into the shelter with them.

Martin fails to return for them, and this causes the group of students to panic and turn on each other. They discover hidden microphones Martin had installed to monitor them and hatch a plan for their release. Frankie pretends to be ill, then Liz and Mark feign hate for each other. This is after Liz mentions that Martin has unrequited feelings for him and had set this entire thing up for Liz to hate Mike for who he is. The next morning, Liz claims that they were all released by Martin.

Martin is arrested and taken into custody, but his version of events differs greatly from the version Liz told. In his version, he states that Liz is in fact one of the popular students, and he is the loner. It was Liz and Frankie’s idea to spend time in the shelter for the girls to get close to their crushes. Liz wanting to spend time with Mike, and Frankie wanting to spend time with Geoff, who was played by Lawrence Fox.

Meanwhile, Liz begins to experience vivid flashbacks to events in the shelter. After he is released by the police, a hysterical Martin goes to visit Liz at her home, believing she had set him up, a frantic Liz then excalims that she knew the police would let him go because there’s no suffiecnt evidence to link him to the events.

Liz tells Phillipa that she cannot recall the events of the shelter, so convinces the reluctant Dr to take her to the site. Once she is inside, she reveals the truth of what actually happened. This is by far the best part of the movie.

Martin had been telling the truth. Liz and Frankie had organised the events to be closer to their crushes. But after finding out that Frankie had slept with George, and her crush Mike, she spontaneously locked the door, trapping them inside, believing the isolation would bring them closer. The plans the group had made originally are soon replaced by panic. Frankie soon becomes ill and passes away. Liz, Mike, and George eventually run out of food and water. Upon discovering George had been hoarding a can of coke, Mike accidentally beats him to death out of frustration. Leaving Liz and Mike alone. Mike professes his love for Liz after she suggests a suicide pact between the two, giving her what she wanted the entire time.

Mike eventually discovers that Liz had the key the entire time, and as he rapidly climbs the ladder to get to her, it breaks causing him to fall and become impailed by the ladder. Killing him. Phillipa asks Liz to tell the truth to the police, but she refuses. The day prior she had murdered Martin and planted the key on him, linking him to the scene. When the police turn up to the bunker, Liz claims that the Dr was trying to hurt her.

The end of the movie shows Liz has gotten away with that she had done, giving Phillipa a snide grin as she is driven away in an ambulance.

The first time I saw this movie, I was left with genuine suprised over the twist and the ending. I wasn’t one of the popular students in school, and I also had a crush on a student who was in a different peer group. So I found Liz’s plight relatable.

I did some things that were out of character only to find that I wasn’t really interested in who he was; it was a fleeting crush. I imagine this is something other people have experienced as well.

The way Martin was initially portrayed feeds into the fear of someone not taking “no” as an answer, and who will do anything to get the attention of the person they are obsessed with. Even if it means putting them in danger. Daniel Brocklebank portrayed this character fantastically. I found myself feeling guilty once it was revealed that he was a pawn in the scheme of a vicious classmate.

Thora Birch is the highlight of the movie; her acting range was incredible. She played the hopeless victim perfectly, and the twist of her being the perpetrator was played so well, it genuinely left me stunned. After it’s revealed that she could’ve released the group from their prison, you get the chilling realisation that she let her best friend die over resentment and her selfish desires to be with her crush.

Laurence Fox’s character was forgettable, for the most part, and felt shoehorned in to make up numbers. He was just the meathead friend of Mike. Frankie’s role as the best friend wasn’t great either, but it did add to the overall impact of the movie. All the characters felt expendable, and so served their purpose. I just wish Geoff had more to his character.

Overall, this is a fantastic movie. It definitely shows it’s age, but it’s worth watching if you are a fan of this genre.

Here’s my rating:

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I'm Stacey and I'm 30 years old. I write about life, mental health, video games & everything in between!

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