Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Hole (2001)

When this film was released, Thora Birch got top billing and the biggest pay packet. One of the other two main female roles, meanwhile, went to a novice actress getting her first substantial part. Her name was Keira Knightley.

Given the relative paths of their careers since then, I think the billing might be reversed if they were to make another film together. Birch, for whatever reason, seems to gravitate to small budget projects and independent horror movies. Movies like this one, come to think of it, though I'd like to think there's a world of difference between The Hole and a 2008 film she was in that is best described as "Hostel on a train" (and which was not-so-imaginatively titled Train). Given her abilities as an actor - the only thing I remember her even being bad in was the D&D movie, and well, who was good in that? - it's a shame she hasn't had more success. Though maybe she's perfectly happy with the career she has, and prefers to avoid all the attention she got in the aftermath of American Beauty.

Anyway, this film begins with Birch's character, Liz, staggering out of the woods, dirty and half-catatonic. We soon learn that Liz is one of four private school kids who have been missing for a couple of weeks. Where they have been, why they were there, and what happened, are of course all questions the police want answered. Given Liz's condition, they hand her over to a psychologist. The efforts of this doctor to engage with Liz and discover what occurred will form the spine of the film. This is a mystery/thriller, so I'm not going to say any more about the plot. I'll instead commend the film's cast, who all do well in their roles. I'm pleased to have just checked IMDB and learned that all six of the actors in 'core' roles are continuing to earn roles on a regular basis.

I liked this a lot. If you're at all into thrillers, and don't mind a bit of darkness, plenty of bad language, and some nudity (boy bits as well as girl bits, so at least there is something for everyone), then you should check it out.

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