Film: The Hole in 3D
From the director of Gremlins and Innerspace comes a new 3D horror film - but were we spooked or snoring?
When the writer of a film script says that his main aim was to create a horror flick that his 12-year-old daughter could watch, you know it's probably not going to be high on the scare-factor. However, scriptwriter Mark L. Smith, along with one of the 'masters of horror' director Joe Dante, has managed to come up with an entertaining family film, able to hold your interest even if it doesn't have you jumping out of your seat.
The plot revolves around Dane and Lucas Thompson (Chris Massoglia and Nathan Gamble), who have just moved house, and their neighbour Julie, played by Haley Bennett. In the basement of their new house, the brothers discover a mysterious hole which turns out to be 'a gateway to hell', unleashing each of their biggest fears to haunt them.
For Dane and Julie, this leads to some interesting subplots about their past, giving the movie a bit more weight than your typical teen horror flick. Lucas's fear is more comical: a murderous jester-meets-clown toy that harks back to films like Leprechaun and Chuckie and will no doubt freak the hell out of any clown-phobics in the audience.
Although the plot contains some intrigue, particularly regarding Dane and the childhood experiences that haunt him, other parts become slightly tedious. For example, there is far too much time spent demonstrating 'look, the pit has no bottom' when it's first discovered, and some of the 'horror' scenes are too repetitive.
More annoying are the reactions of the three main characters when faced with their biggest fears. Although the acting is generally acceptable throughout, it becomes distinctly unbelievable when Lucas repeatedly reacts to the psycho-clown with nothing more than a motionless wide-eyed stare. In a similar example of underplay, Julie merely moves to the other side of the room after waking up to find herself entwined with a ghost girl who is crying tears of blood.
Despite these flaws the movie is entertaining enough and is certainly well-suited to its early teen target audience. If you're older than this, the horror will seem pretty tame unless you have a very low scare threshold. The 3D element however is subtle yet effective, and, as one particularly observant friend noted, 'A hole in 2D would just be a circle', which probably wouldn't be quite as exciting.