In September 1938 a British detective comes to a small French coastal town in order to investigate the death of a colleague. Prime suspects are the members of English aristocratic family ... See full summary »
The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
One misty morning, Liz Dunn stumbles down the road to her school and screams for help. A police psychologist gets her to reveal her story: A month earlier: three rebellious teenagers - Mike, Frankie and Geoff are trying to ditch the school field trip to Wales. The school nerd Martin helps them out by allowing them to stay in an old war bunker for the three days on the condition that his friend Liz joins them. The teens go down, party and have great fun but Martin doesn't return to let them out and they hope and pray that someone will find them... Written by
Good Film, Even Better Cast.. But A Few Sloppy Elements
I've been anticipating this film for a while since it is Thora Birch's first role since American Beauty. So, The Hole. The Hole has been hyped up as a horror/psychological film in which 4 students are locked down an old wartime bunker (-the- Hole) to avoid a boring Geography field trip. How does it fare?
The casting is probably the jewel of this film. It's superb. The absolutely stunning Keira Knightley (Sabé from Star Wars Episode I) appears as Liz's (Birch) friend, Frankie. All the rest of the characters are complete unknowns, except the psychologist played by Embeth Davidtz (Matilda, Bridget Jones, Schindler's List), but they all act their parts excellently.
This film really has the British 'feel' mastered. The sets are excellent, the locations are splendid, and the whole 'feel' of the movie is very realistic. The school really does feel like a British public school (A British 'public school' is like a 'private school' in the US.. one where you need rich parents to flash $$$ to get you in). The unnamed pupils seem extremely realistic.
There are only three small flaws with this film. The first is that it doesn't exactly live up to the hype in the British press. I did not find this scary at all, but it was an extremely well done mystery/whodunnit. Horror? Nah, not unless you classify psychological thrillers as 'horror'.
The second flaw is that the transitions between different parts of the film can be rather confusing. Often, the film bounds around past and present shots and be extremely disorienting in places. Unlike Memento, this disorientation is not an advantage. However, at the end of the film, you'll be able to tie all of the parts together and leave feeling quite satisfied with the story (a bit like the film 'Wild Things').
Another minor let down is the music. Totally forgettable, has no place in the film, and it often appears at the most inappropriate times.
I really do hope this is released in the USA soon, as Thora Birch is definitely not to be missed here.. and I think the stunning Keira Knightley is going to be getting some bigger roles from now on, she's definitely earned her stripes here. So, my big question, why has this not been scheduled for US release!?
This is certainly not a Blair Witch Project clone, although this impression has been given by the press. Instead, this is a cleverly constructed and extremely well casted psychological thriller/mystery.
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