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The Hole in the Ground

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Ireland · 2019
Rated R · 1h 30m
Director Lee Cronin
Starring Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, Simone Kirby, Steve Wall
Genre Horror

Trying to escape her broken past, Sarah O’Neill builds a new life in a backwood rural town with her young son, Chris. As she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in Chris are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest by their home, Sarah spirals into a paranoia-laced nightmare.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The film gradually becomes something more than a mixtape of horror gimmicks as it homes in on a frightening real-world subtext.


Screen Daily by Demetrios Matheou

There’s a freshness to the characterisations, a good eye, and for a time Cronin constructs a tense guessing game as to whether it’s mental breakdown or supernatural forces at play.


Variety by Guy Lodge

[Cronin's] trim, jumpy debut feature rewrites no genre rules, but abounds in bristly calling-card atmospherics. ... Only in the film’s muddy-in-all-senses finale — which leaves a few too many dots unjoined, even by forgiving genre standards — does its grip on proceedings slip a notch.


The Playlist by Jordan Ruimy

Even as an homage The Hole in the Ground feels like business as usual rather imbuing the genre with a much-needed modern edge or new context.


Empire by Kim Newman

A soft-spoken yet chilling domestic horror film that tells its slightly overfamiliar tale effectively, with strong performances, quietly disturbing atmosphere, one or two friendly clichés, and good, old- fashioned scares.


The Hollywood Reporter by Leslie Felperin

[It] will evoke comparisons for many with The Babadook, and while this is more generically conventional than Jennifer Kent's breakout thriller, it still taps potently into parental anxieties and primal fears.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

Parental anxiety has long been fertile ground for horror, going back to "The Bad Seed" and "The Exorcist," and The Hole In The Ground finds a somewhat fresh angle on the possessed-kid subgenre.

50 by Nick Allen

This is a story that errs toward the familiar instead of embracing strangeness, its freaky kid becoming the distraction when you just want more time with the hole in the ground.


Los Angeles Times by Noel Murray

It’s always welcome to see a chiller that builds suspense from ideas and characters — and where the beasts from beyond are almost beside the point.


Film Threat by Norman Gidney

The Hole In the Ground surprised me, took me on a fun ride, and returned me, almost unshaken. This was a brilliantly satisfying monster movie.

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