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The Hole (2001)

Thora Birch , Desmond Harrington , Nick Hamm  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Daniel Brocklebank, Laurence Fox, Keira Knightley
  • Directors: Nick Hamm
  • Writers: Ben Court, Caroline Ip, Guy Burt
  • Producers: Andrea Calderwood, Bill Shephard, François Ivernel, Jeremy Bolt
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000ARD7T
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,107 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Hole" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

This suspenseful psychological thriller features hot young stars Thora Birch (GHOST WORLD, AMERICAN BEAUTY), Desmond Harrington (GHOST SHIP), and a hip, edgy cast! When Liz Dunn (Birch) and three of her prep school friends decide to bail on their scheduled weekend field trip and hide in a long-abandoned bomb shelter, they expect to party and hang out. They don't expect someone to lock them in! As anxious hours turn into desperate days, fear and insecurity erupt uncontrollably as their spontaneous adventure turns into a bloody fight for survival! Also starring Keira Knightley (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM) and Embeth Davidtz (THE EMPEROR'S CLUB, BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY) -- you'll find yourself bolted to your seat as the electrifying tale unfolds through Liz's tormented eyes!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Going underground December 10, 2004
Format:DVD
As THE HOLE opens, a dirty, dissheveled girl stumbles into town, looking with every step as if she won't make it much further. By the time she finally reaches a phone and dials emergency, she is so traumatized that all she can do is scream.

What we know is this: over holiday, four prep school students decided to have a very private party in an abandoned underground shelter out in the woods. They were down there for eighteen days. But what really happened to them will be revealed gradually over the course of the film as Liz (Thora Birch), the girl from the opening scenes, plays cat and mouse with a psychiatrist (Embeth Davidtz) who is trying to get her to tell her story.

This is a twisty thriller with great acting on all parts. Thora Birch's fake English accent grated on me at first, probably just because I know she's not English, but as the film progressed I didn't notice it so much. It also becomes clear that she was the right choice for this particular role.

The DVD includes director's commentary, in which he talks about sets, censorship, the psychological motivations of the main character, and uses the word "oblique" a lot. It was not exactly lively, but it was moderately interesting. There are also some deleted scenes and an alternate ending. The corpselike image of Keira Knightly on the cover of this release is misleading, as she's hardly the star, though her fans will definitely want to check the film out. (I have seen much more appropriate in-store copies that have Keira and Thora sharing cover space.)
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four teenagers locked in an abandoned bomb shelter... October 21, 2004
Format:DVD
Four English prep school students decide to skip a weekend field trip and hide out in an abandoned bomb shelter where they can hang out and party all night long. Sure, this sounds sort of stupid, but these teenagers see it as the best private party of their life, "absolutely extra curricular" as one of them puts it. However, when the weekend is over and the door is supposed to open it does not, and the four find out that they are locked in. Who locked them in? Will they be discovered? Can they find another way out? What will happen when they run out of food and water? How long before they start to turn on each other?

Since the film opens with one of the four stumbling into the deserted school we know that they were down in that hole for eighteen days. However, the expectation that this 2001 film will take us back through those 18 days from start to finish quickly turns out to be a false one. "The Hole" is more of a mystery than a survival drama. The teenager who stumbled into the school, Liz Dunn (Thora Birch), is seeing a psychologist, Dr. Philippa Horwood (Embeth Davidtz), who is trying to find out what happened. Liz tells the story of what happened, but Horwood knows that it is not the truth and that the girl has sanitized it as a way of preserving her sanity. We know the story is not the truth because when the group descends into the bomb shelter director Nick Hamm keeps focusing on a part of the chain ladder that is obviously dangerously week. It plays not part in Liz's story, so we will just have to keep revisiting the story until it does.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great But Not for Everyone June 24, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Caution: Spoilers Ahead!! You may wish to view the movie and then read this analysis.

I have to credit IMDB for my discovery of this fascinating film, as the number of comments posted about "The Saw" proclaiming it a poor imitation of "The Hole" convinced me to purchase the DVD. Not a particularly hard sell because Thora Birch is rapidly climbing to the top of my most talented actress list; so watch out Mia Kirshner and Sarah Polley.

What I especially like now about this former child actress is her ability to de-tune her sexiness. This allows her to believably-physically play the "plain Jane" to beauties like Scarlett Johansson and Kiera Knightley, while on another level actually being sexier. The appeal of this is that it allows you to imagine that you are the only one in the audience picking up on that other level, thereby making it seem like a exclusive connection.

As has already been much discussed, the trailer for "The Hole" is completely wrong for the movie, making it seem like a slasher film when it a subtle psychological thriller of obsession and misdirection. It illustrates what obsession can produce when taken a step too far. Probably the most chilling scene is the nightclub rest room parody where Liz (Birch) is gleefully prattling on about her seduction of Mike to her girlfriend Frankie (Knightley), utterly oblivious and unconcerned that Frankie is deathly ill.

Another great scene is the one used by the director to set up Liz's friend Martin for the blame, Liz is speaking to Martin about what it is like to love someone but not have them know you exist. Martin says everything with his face as he lets you know that this just how he feels about Liz.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Really old movie, saw it as a teenager in the movie theater and thought it was scary then.
Published 20 days ago by angelica
4.0 out of 5 stars Not an amazing movie but it's interesting
I think that although this cannot be considered an amazing movie it's quite good, I was entertained the whole time and the acting was bad at all, although if you are expecting it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Aurora Lopez
1.0 out of 5 stars Fires it's one shot too early
A singularly odd effort at being a movie that packs most of it's punch into a single twist, because that twist comes out about a third of the way in. Read more
Published 2 months ago by RL
5.0 out of 5 stars Great screwed up movie
This movie is amazing! It's a high-grade B-movie that'll leave you gasping and munching on your popcorn to see who gets out a live. Read more
Published 3 months ago by carl
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
This movie was alright. It wasn't what I expected it to be but it had some good twists, even if some of them were pretty see through. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ######
5.0 out of 5 stars dark and twisted
I saw this movie quite a while ago and loved the premise. If you're not interested in happy endings, this is for you.
Published 12 months ago by Jennifer Rooth
2.0 out of 5 stars Cult (not) classic
Weird movie with a weird story line. Not worth the money but maybe a rental at best. Keira Knightly is good in it but that's not a surprise.
Published 13 months ago by CHRIS WALKER
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
If you like movies with twists and turns you will love this movie. It wasn't the typical turn out you would expect. I am glad I purchased the movie!
Published 17 months ago by Brenda Morvillo
5.0 out of 5 stars Down we go, into THE HOLE
I watched this on the rec. of a friend. Being a Thora Birch fan i totally loved it. It was creepy and thought provoking at the same time. Read more
Published on May 27, 2012 by Jule Kijek
3.0 out of 5 stars takes forever to get good
The Hole unfortunately suffers from the same problem many suspense and horror films from 1998-2001 suffer from- a serious lack of tension and excitement, or rather, disguising... Read more
Published on April 19, 2012 by B. E Jackson
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