Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by
Slant Magazine
The film gradually becomes something more than a mixtape of horror gimmicks as it homes in on a frightening real-world subtext.
The Hole In the Ground surprised me, took me on a fun ride, and returned me, almost unshaken. This was a brilliantly satisfying monster movie.
[It] will evoke comparisons for many with The Babadook, and while this is more generically conventional than Jennifer Kent's breakout thriller, it still taps potently into parental anxieties and primal fears.
There’s a freshness to the characterisations, a good eye, and for a time Cronin constructs a tense guessing game as to whether it’s mental breakdown or supernatural forces at play.
[Cronin's] trim, jumpy debut feature rewrites no genre rules, but abounds in bristly calling-card atmospherics. ... Only in the film’s muddy-in-all-senses finale — which leaves a few too many dots unjoined, even by forgiving genre standards — does its grip on proceedings slip a notch.
Parental anxiety has long been fertile ground for horror, going back to "The Bad Seed" and "The Exorcist," and The Hole In The Ground finds a somewhat fresh angle on the possessed-kid subgenre.
A soft-spoken yet chilling domestic horror film that tells its slightly overfamiliar tale effectively, with strong performances, quietly disturbing atmosphere, one or two friendly clichés, and good, old- fashioned scares.
It’s always welcome to see a chiller that builds suspense from ideas and characters — and where the beasts from beyond are almost beside the point.
Even as an homage The Hole in the Ground feels like business as usual rather imbuing the genre with a much-needed modern edge or new context.
This is a story that errs toward the familiar instead of embracing strangeness, its freaky kid becoming the distraction when you just want more time with the hole in the ground.

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