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The Hole (2001)

Cast: Thora Birch, Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, more...
Director: Nick Hamm, Nick Hamm
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Dimension
Genre: Foreign, UK
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: English, French
    see additional details...

A fun-filled getaway for four teenagers becomes a season in Hell in this tense British thriller. Liz Dunn (Thora Birch) is a student at an exclusive private school who is head over heels for Mike Steel (Desmond Harrington), a handsome classmate whose father is a well-known American rock star. Liz, however, is self-conscious about her looks and is convinced Mike would rather be with the prettier girls in her class. Liz is also unenthusiastic about an upcoming field trip, in which she and the other students will have to camp out for three days while studying local geography. Liz confesses her infatuation with Mike to Martin Taylor (Daniel Brocklebank), a science-minded geek and longtime friend who happens to be in love with Liz, though she prefers to ignore it. Martin proposes a solution to both of Liz's problems; he's found an underground bunker built during World War II near the school grounds, and he arranges a little party in which Liz and Mike will spend the three days of the field trip in the bunker, with class couple Geoff (Laurence Fox) and Frankie (Keira Knightley) going along, giving Liz a perfect chance to impress Mike with her charm. The students lay in a supply of food, water, and booze to last them for three days, but after 72 hours, they discover they've been locked in, and they're not sure if Martin intends to let them out. The Hole also stars Embeth Davidtz as a psychiatrist who consults with Liz after her ordeal. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

If you like this, see Session 9 by TnJWilson August 30, 2005 - 8:56 AM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
For some reason, this reminded me a lot of Session 9. Although Session 9 was much better a creating and keeping the suspense and confusion. This movie would have been much better if it had not been shown in a direct timeline. Instead, it is told as flashbacks. But the constant return to the "present" destroys the full creepiness of The Hole. I'm sure the reason for flashbacks was to confuse because you are given several points of view and conflicting tales. But the end was still predictable. Overall, a decent movie, though. Many many times better than almost all American-made "horror" movies for many years. And to reiterate what someone else said, Keira Knightly does NOT get nude but only flashes her breasts, so I'm unsure why this did not go for a theatre release in America.

Good cast + bad script = direct-to-video release by EPetersen October 22, 2004 - 8:39 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
In Screenplay, his famous and respected textbook on screenwriting, author-teacher Syd Field says that you can always tell if a movie is going to be good after reading the first ten pages of the screenplay - or watching the first ten minutes of the movie. The Hole disproves that theory.

In the first ten minutes, we meet Liz (Thora Birch) a terrified and disheveled British teenager running away from something. When she finds a phone, she dials the emergency number, and when asked what the emergency is, she screams into the receiver.

We also learn that several of Liz's friends were found dead in an old underground bunker left over from World War 2. A psychiatrist (Embeth Davidtz) is asked to help Liz overcome her emotional shock so the police can find out what happened. Sounds like a great setup to a great horror film, right? Well, at least it's a great setup. Unfortunately, the excellent cast is betrayed by a poorly written screenplay. This horror flick is far from great.

After Liz comes to her senses, she begins to remember details of her ordeal. She and her friends Mike, (Desmond Harrington) whom Liz has a crush on, Frankie, (Keira Knightley) and Geoff (Laurence Fox) had decided to spend a few days in an old underground bunker found by schoolmate Martin (Daniel Brocklebank). Martin locks them in so they won't be found until he gets back. But he doesn't come back, and the others are in trouble - they only brought enough food and water to last a few days, and nobody else knows where they are.

Believing that Martin - a nerdy outcast - is a psychopath who deliberately sealed his schoolmates in the bunker, the police arrest him, but he is soon released due to lack of evidence. In a series of flashbacks, we see what really happened. We also see inconsistency after inconsistency, as the characters keep changing, making the movie more and more incoherent as it moves toward a "surprise" ending that even a toddler could predict.

The ending doesn't really matter, because none of the characters are likeable - except for the psychiatrist, who is so stupid that she must have gotten her PhD at clown college.

Thora Birch and Desmond Harrington look noticeably embarassed that they're in this movie. I don't blame them. By the way, Keira Knightley does NOT appear nude in this movie. She flashes her breasts for half a second, and that's it. Her character is a brazen slut, but trust me, that's not why this movie went direct-to-video here.

It's just a bad movie.

- Eric Petersen

Why straight-to-video? by talltale October 20, 2004 - 8:21 PM PDT
6 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Rumour has it that THE HOLE, popular in Europe, was never released in America because of Keira Knightley's nude scene--which would have spoiled the sweet-sixteen, Miss Popularity reputation she'd achieved via "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Bend it Like Beckham." Maybe. It does seems odd than this better-than-average teen scare movie featuring three current young hotties (Knightley, Thora Birch and Desmond Harrington) wouldn't find a pretty large audience, not to mention that the film itself is also well-made and far more intelligent than most of this ilk. Who knows? It does offer some full-frontal male nudity--generally a no-no for films of this sort. As good as the movie is, it still left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied because it finally seemed too pat, too unduly dark, and not as believable it would dearly like to be. But for thriller fans, it is certainly worth a look--putting to shame almost all recent American-made movies of similar tendencies.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.43)
46 Votes
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