The Hole In The Ground is a horror movie that successfully blends Irish folklore with the familiar theme of a creepy kid. I know, I know, you’ve probably seen dozens and dozens of these creepy kid horror movies but I assure you this one’s solid. After all, that’s the whole purpose of Rabbit Reviews, to recommend movies that are worth watching. We will be following Sarah, a single mother who moves into a remote farm in the Irish countryside with her son Chris. They moved there to get a fresh start but instead, they’re just going to get into a lot of trouble. A lot of creepy trouble.
So, not only do we get a creepy kid and a single mother trying to raise him, but we also get a creepy farm in the middle of nowhere. Talk about cliches, sheesh. Despite all of this, The Hole In The Ground slowly pulls you into its twisted world. The forest near the house looks ancient and exceedingly menacing. And the hole in the ground Sarah’s going to find looks even worse. Although I don’t understand why she didn’t at least google it to see what it is. Or ask any of the neighbors. Wait, scratch that, neighbors are also creepy. The main reason why I decided to check out this movie is Lee Cronin.
He’s the guy behind the latest Evil Dead remake, Evil Dead Rise, that I just loved. So, I decided to check out his previous movies and here we are. The Hole In The Ground is best described as a “not great, not terrible” horror movie. It does take a while to get going but once it does, it fucking takes off. The last half hour was effective, scary, and quite dark. I don’t if I was in the mood for something like this but I have to admit that I got chills during several scenes. And I rarely get chills. So, if you’re looking for that sleeper horror movie that’s going to fuck you up with its moody atmosphere, you’ve just found it.
As they were driving to their new home, deep in the Irish countryside, Sarah and her son Chris almost ran over a woman. It turns out that she’s their next-door neighbor, an older lady struggling with dementia. However, what they should’ve realized right then and there is that things are not right here. These forests are ancient and full of secrets from a forgotten world. Alone in their big house, the two of them do not stand a chance against such forces. Or do they?
Seána Kerslake (Bad Sisters) was excellent as Sarah along with creepy James Quinn Markey playing the role of her son, Chris. Apart from them, we’ll also have the opportunity to see the legend that is James Cosmo (Braveheart, Game of Thrones). The Hole In The Ground successfully avoids melodrama and emotional milking. It stoically carries on which is a trait that’s often overlooked in horror movies. You can also describe it as mother’s descent into hell. She’s sensing her way through this ordeal, willing to do anything to set things right.
The production house A24 tried to compare this movie to The Babadook but I think that’s just reaching. Still, this is a far better movie than the 2023 Unwelcome featuring almost the same story and characters minus the creepy kid. You see, I do watch movies that end up being too shitty to be recommended, I just don’t talk about them. Ahhh, Satandammit, I did it again. Moving on, The Hole In The Ground is much more comparable to movies like The Hallow and You Are Not My Mother.
Both of them are solid horror movies featuring a lot of Irish folklore, especially regarding the Changelings. Although during the first half of the movie, I kept thinking about Lovecraft and his story turned into a movie Color Out of Space.
Director: Lee Cronin
Writers: Lee Cronin, Stephen Shields
Cast: Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, James Cosmo, Kati Outinen, Simone Kirby
Fun Facts: The giant hole in the ground seems to be related to the Fairy Forts. Perhaps its concave shape symbolizes evil instead of good.