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The Hole

April 22, 2010

The Hole

The Hole

This film is based off of a book by Guy Burt and really fails to live up to it.  The book is a pretty quick read and simple but very intriguing and delves more into the characters.  The movie is pretty predictable and almost seems hastily done.

The story starts with Liz Dunn escaping from “the hole” an old bomb shelter left over from World War II where she and three friends (four in the book) have been hiding out to escape a school trip.  She makes it to a phone and calls the police saying that her three friends are dead and that something went terrible wrong.  The police look at the scene and try and piece together exactly what happened as Dr. Phillipa Horwood gets Liz to slowly open up about what happened.  Liz tells how at the school there is one guy who she has liked for a long time, Mike Steel, and with the help of her friend, Martyn Taylor she convinces Mike, Frankie, and Geoff that they can escape going on a school trip if they hide in the old bomb shelter.  They will tell the school their parents were coming to get them and the school that they were going with their parents and no one would notice.  Once they are in the hole, Martyn locks the door, for his protection, so that they don’t get caught, and he will come back for them in a couple of days when the school returns.  He doesn’t return and they are trapped in the hole and things start go very wrong leading to Geoff, Frankie, and Mike all dying.  The police bring in Martyn and he tells a very different story.  Dr. Horwood believes it is lie and when Martyn later admits it she passes it off as nothing.  There is a pretty obvious but entertaining twist at the end, even though it doesn’t show it off as well as the book.

The best performances in the film are of Liz and Martyn.  Liz is played very well by Thora Birch.  Some would say it isn’t all that great, but that is because the twist seems predictable through her.  However, just in terms of her acting, she plays the role very convincingly.  A complete unknown, Daniel Brocklebank, plays Martyn.  However, this role he plays the role very well showing up as very full of himself and in control of things.  The one big name in the film is Keira Knightley.  She plays Frankie, a spoiled high school student who is like the queen bee in terms of the attention she demands and gets.  The actor who plays Mike has continued on with a fair amount of TV success, playing the heart throb on shows like Gossip Girl.  Desmond Harrington gives a pretty poor performance, though.  The rest of the performances are pretty poor.  None of them are all that great, but Thora Birch does an effective job.

The creation of this story and film isn’t all that great.  Nick Hamm does a decent job with the story that he is given creating the emotion from partying to the panic in the very limited amount of room he is given with the hole.  But the story just isn’t strong enough to make a very good film and what Hamm gets from his talent isn’t all that great.

I’d recommend reading the book before watching the film.  It is a quick read and a pretty fun read.  The movie could definitely be worse, but isn’t all that good.  There are a few redeeming moments, mainly the twist at the end and Birch and Brocklebank’s performances.  There are a lot of better options for thrillers out there, but at least this is a small budget film with relative unknowns (before Knightley made it big), because so many huge Hollywood thrillers barely live up to this standard, they might have more suspense, but will lack a story that is as good.

Entertainment Grade: C+

Critical Grade: D+

Overall Grade: C-

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