Mucking around in the basement of their new home, a teenage boy and his kid brother discover a trapdoor secured with several padlocks. Joined by the cute girl from next door, the boys unlock the trapdoor and unleash a sinister force that preys upon their darkest fears.
The Hole, directed by Gremlins veteran Joe Dante, is an old-fashioned scary movie that attempts to spook you without relying on buckets of blood. The most effective scenes in the film involve the younger boy being practically stalked around the house by a clown doll, and another one in which the lights go out in the restroom of a diner, trapping one of our protagonists with a mysterious little girl who seems to be bleeding.
If the film doesn’t always work it’s because the thrills are so tepid, and because the characters themselves don’t seem particularly scared of what’s going on around them.
Filmed in 3D, this movie delivers a few sudden jolts, and nothing more. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for The Hole. I was bored out of my skull. You will be too. Avoid.