The rehabilitation of the horror genre has coincided with the rise of A24. The American entertainment company have been responsible for some of the best mainstream horror films of the last five years. With the likes of Hereditary, It Comes at Night, The Witch, Under the Skin and Climax they’ve spearheaded a revolution. Their next hit is destined to be Lee Cronin’s feature debut, The Hole in the Ground.
Sarah O’Neill (Seána Kerslake) decides to up sticks and decamp to a rural town to start a new life with her young son (James Quinn Markey). She heads to the backwater in an attempt to escape her past but it’s not quiet the tranquil idyll she hoped for. After discovering a strange sinkhole in the woods Sarah has an extremely unsettling confrontation with an elderly neighbour (Kati Outinen). Then there’s Chris, her boy, who really isn’t acting like himself at the moment.
Whilst The Hole in the Ground is not going to win any competitions for originality, it’s a beautifully made horror which delivers on all fronts. What makes it stand out from the pack is wonderful cinematography from Tom Comerford, brilliant acting by Kerslake and an exhilarating and unsettling sound design. However, it is derivative and the whole parental anxiety narrative has been done before. Possibly not this well though. When it comes down to it The Hole in the Ground is a meticulously crafted and compelling horror movie.
The Hole in the Ground is released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital by Vertigo Releasing on 8 July.