Originally reviewed in 2012
Generally when I watch a horror piece about kids, I can see why other people would read into the piece a certain amount of symbolism about growing up and embracing, or at least acknowledging, the darkness that we all have in side. I don’t really agree that it’s there though, or that it’s the root of the piece.
This is one of the exceptions to that pattern. The Hole follows the plight of two brothers who after a bout of moving rapidly around the country with their single mother, move into a sleepy small town and find the titular hole in their basement. Opening the trap door over the hole, they discover that this seemingly empty pit isn’t so empty after all.
The symbolism is both readily obvious but not so obnoxious that it distracts from the movie. The storyline doesn’t suffer from the connection between the darkness in the hole and the fears that the elder son faces about growing up-and turning into his missing father. The hints that perhaps running from the darkness inside-to the extent of flooding one’s life with literal light-isn’t such a great idea aren’t so direct that it becomes annoying and clunky.
They even manage to throw some water symbolism in there, and make it work. I don’t think that this is a movie with a ‘message’, and I don’t even think it’s a horror piece about growing up-but I actually think that makes it even more effective. If you’re looking for scares, I think this one was a little too tropic (and a little too much like The Gate without enough new ground covered) to be creepy, but it crawls in a way that I liked.