Today is a vacation day so I got to sleep in and then watched a movie in bed for the first time in a long time – it was great! I watched The Hole about six or seven years ago and thought I would give it another shot, since it didn’t seem like there was anything better to look at. This was decent enough – we get a young, good looking Keira Knightley, a young odd looking Thora Birch (where are her eyebrows), an actor I like named Desmond Harrington who has to suffer a terrible hairdo and one of my favorites, the little known Embeth Davidtz. This isn’t bloody and doesn’t try to be frightening: it’s a movie about four teenagers trapped underground in a WW2 bunker, trying to stay alive. The mystery to this is whose story is to be believed? Birch’s account as told to Davidtz, or the guy she blames? It’s told in flashbacks and shot well – so all in all it was a good enough film to lay around and pet the sleeping cat.
This opens up with a haggard and bloody Birch staggering down a street with posters of the four missing youths tacked up on the trees and fences. I am not sure why she is bloody (or maybe I thought she was and she wasn’t) but she makes her way into the university, dials the police and screams (I am not sure why she did that either). Anyway, Davidtz is the cop who gets to interview her and we are told of a helpless, shy girl (Birch) in hopeless love with the jocky American Harrington who doesn’t know she’s alive (sigh). Luckily her best friend is the school “guy that can get anyone anything they want” and he gets her, Harrington, Knightley and some British dude who is not afraid to show his junk a reprieve from the field trip to Wales: a three night stay in the bunker to party and get the American to fall in love with her. As her story goes, her friend trapped them in there for over ten days until they tricked him through listening devices to let them all out. The friend is arrested in another country and brought back for charges – obviously, her story doesn’t pan out because – well – i won’t spoil it.
The friend’ story is different, Birch and Knightley are spoiled rich “sluts” who get anything they want through the sex. They con British weenie dude (in the gym shower mind you) to get Harrington to go to the bunker for a weekend of hard drinking, smoking weed and the sex (instead of going to Wales). There is a plot point here that is key to the story on why they are actually trapped down there wasting away. I won’t ruin it because that’s kind of the impetus for the second half of the movie. I’ll just say that someone has a secret.
So – not too bad at all, a little blood, a little sex, a little mystery, good acting, bad hair and a bunker.
Hailing from the UK and starring Thora Birch (after her successful turn in “American Beauty”) and Kiera Knightley (in her first significant role in a feature film), The Hole is a tense psychological thriller with an ending that leaves a significant question. Or at the least attempts to leave one with questions….While it starts strong with a well shot scene of Thora Birch stumbling down a road littered with “missing” posters featuring her own face, the movie tends to dwindle from there.
“The Hole” takes the age old equation of locking people in a fairly small space with no way out and diminishing supplies and does nothing new with it. This time it’s four teenagers who, according to the different versions of what happened, are either really great friends or just semi know each other. After ditching a school field trip to party in an abandoned underground shelter, Liz, Frankie, Mike and Geoff, find themselves locked in on the day they were supposed to leave. As usually happens in these situations, the teens begin to fight amongst themselves, with accusations thrown and tempers starting to ignite. Amongst the drama, you have an outer story wherein Liz (Thora Birch) tells a psychologist that it was a happy-go-lucky time except for that part where her friend, Martyn locked them in. However Martyn tells the police a different story altogether. So who’s telling the truth?
This is where “The Hole” tries to take a twist turn by revealing at the end what really happened. It’s not a huge twist, fans of the “locked in a room” movies will have seen it coming a mile away but it did leave me with a vaguely unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach (although think this had a lot to do with Kiera’s character’s flaws…..)
Not horrible by any means and not the best either. Purely formulaic with both male and female nudity, this one’s good for a rainy day.