The Hole (2009 film)

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The Hole
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joe Dante
Produced by Claudio Fäh
Michel Litvak
Vicki Sotheran
David Lancaster
Written by Mark L. Smith
Starring Chris Massoglia
Haley Bennett
Nathan Gamble
Teri Polo
Bruce Dern
Music by Javier Navarrete
Cinematography Theo van de Sande
Edited by Marshall Harvey
Bold Films[1]
The Hole
Distributed by Big Air Studios
Release dates
  • September 11, 2009 (2009-09-11) (Venice)[2]
Running time
92 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million[4]
Box office $10,362,785[5]

The Hole is a 2009 American fantasy horror-thriller film directed by Joe Dante[6] and stars Teri Polo, Chris Massoglia, and Haley Bennett.[7]


17-year-old Dane Thompson, his 10-year-old brother Lucas, and their mother, Susan, move from Brooklyn to the quiet town of Bensenville. Dane and Lucas befriend their next door neighbor, Julie. Dane and Lucas find a trapdoor with several locks along each side. They discover a hole which appears to be bottomless. When Julie arrives, they lower a video camera into the hole. They look at the recording and see static. They turn away from the screen to their mother. An eye appears on the screen.

Over the next few days, each child experiences strange events. One day, the little girl appears in the boys' home. The trio follow her to the basement and watch, as she crawls into the hole. The previous owner of the house, Creepy Carl, now lives in an abandoned glove factory. When the kids tell him that they have opened the hole, he berates them for releasing the evil inside. Later that night, Carl is seen scribbling in a sketchbook, almost blacking out entire pages. Carl screaming "I'm not done!" as the light bulbs around him pop.

The sketchbook turns out to belong to Dane, who returns to the factory to retrieve it. He finds his sketchbook in the darkness; Creepy Carl is gone. Julie decides to get the group relaxed and throws a pool party. While under the water, Dane sees the same giant man standing above. Once out of the pool, he notices a trail of muddy footprints. He and Julie follow the footprints, leaving Lucas alone, but returned shortly when they heard her pet dog, Charlie, barking. They return to see Lucas drowning. Lucas tells them that the clown puppet had pulled him to the bottom of the pool.

Later that night, while Lucas is asleep, Dane sees a hand-shaped bruise on Lucas' leg. He discovers that it is identical to a hand that Creepy Carl had drawn in the sketchbook. As he flips through the sketchbook, he realizes that each page is a puzzle piece. While working on the puzzle, Dane hears someone whistling. When he walks into the kitchen, he sees an envelope addressed to him from the New Jersey State Penitentiary. A note inside reads 'HELLO BOY'. He rushes upstairs to Lucas and tells him that someone is in the house. While Dane investigates, Lucas meets a police officer standing at the bottom of the stairs. The police officer ascends the stairs to show Lucas a picture of two little girls. He asks Lucas if he has seen one of them and points to the little girl whom Julie encountered in the bathroom. The police officer leaves the picture with Lucas and descends the stairs. Lucas watches the cop return to the basement and climb into the hole. The girl then appears in Julie's room. Julie climbs out of her window and meets the boys. She reveals to Dane that she and her best friend Annie were playing on the tracks of an old roller coaster. There was an accident and Annie fell to her death. In an attempt to help Julie, a police officer had also fallen and was killed. She decides to return to the amusement park where the accident occurred. Dane goes after her.

Julie finds her friend sitting on the same spot from which she fell. After Julie helps Annie understand that she had tried to save her, Annie disappears. Meanwhile, Lucas hears Dane calling him to the basement where the puppet attacks him. Lucas successfully destroys the puppet. Dane and Julie come home and Lucas announces that he's no longer afraid of clowns. Dane then tells them of a theory that once you look into the hole it somehow knows you and creates whatever you are afraid of. When asked what he's afraid of, Dane replies that he's not afraid of anything.

Julie then invites Dane and Lucas to stay at her place for the night. As Lucas is gathering his things, Dane shows Julie the puzzle he had been working on. They solve the puzzle together and see a boy being grabbed by a giant man. Dane rushes upstairs to find that Lucas is gone. Dane finally reveals that he is afraid of his father, who had abused the entire family and is now in prison. Realizing that his father has taken Lucas into the hole, Dane jumps into the hole as well.

He finds Lucas hiding in a closet. Their father, who has become a giant, starts to break through the door. They turn around and discover what seems to be a ladder. Dane tells Lucas to start climbing. Dane starts to follow, when his father drags him back down. Dane confronts his father. As Dane fights him off, the giant father slowly returns to his actual size. Their surroundings begin to crumble. Dane gives the crumbling floor one final blow. The floor breaks apart and the father falls away.

Dane emerges from the hole where Julie and Lucas are waiting. They close the hole, just as their mother comes down to the basement. She sees the trapdoor and opens it, revealing a shallow crawl space below. As the group heads upstairs, Lucas asks his mom if she is afraid of anything. She replies that it is a monster that was under her bed when she was a little girl. Lucas says, "Uh oh," as the trapdoor opens again.



The film began shooting in 3-D on December 5, 2008, in Vancouver, Canada.[18]


The film garnered positive reviews from critics. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 80% of the critics gave the film a positive review, based on 35 reviews, with a rating average of 6.4 out of 10. The site's consensus reads "A welcome throwback to the suburban teen thrillers of the 1980s, The Hole is a scary, enjoyable return to form for director Joe Dante." [19]


The film premiered on September 12, 2009, at 2009 Toronto International Film Festival[20] and had its theatrical release in summer 2010.[21] It screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2010.[22] The film had its United States debut screening at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco on October 7, 2011.[23]

On September 28, 2012, The Hole opened in theatres in Los Angeles and Atlanta. A release in St. Louis is scheduled for November. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 2, 2012.[24]


  1. ^ "Bold Films Developing Action Thriller ‘Psy-Ops’". 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  2. ^ "'The Hole 3D' is Beloved in Toronto and Venice". 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  3. ^ "THE HOLE (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  4. ^ "The Hole (2009) – Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  5. ^ "The Hole (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Joe Dante's 'The D-Hole 3-D' Getting Summer/Fall Release?". 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  7. ^ Allen, Michael (2009-11-13). "The D-Hole in 3-D!". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  8. ^ "Excl: Cirque Du Freak Cast Interviews". 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  9. ^ Tabouring, Franck (2008-10-22). "Teri Polo ready to jump into ‘Hole’". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  10. ^ "Afm: Joe Dante's The Hole in 3D Posters!". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  11. ^ Heath, Paul (2008-10-22). "Teri Polo to star in Joe Dante's The Hole". The Hollywood News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  12. ^ "The Hole – 3D – Cast". Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  13. ^ "Afm '08: Posters and New Casting For 'The Hole 3-D'!!". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  14. ^ Oh My Gore ! (2008-11-10). ""The Hole 3D" – Posters and New Casting". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  15. ^ "Polo, Bennett Join The Hole". 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  16. ^ "Italian Trailer for Joe Dante's The Hole". 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  17. ^ "Italian Trailer for Joe Dante's 'The Hole 3D' Featuring New Footage". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  18. ^ "Teri Polo Will Star In 3-D Supernatural Movie "The Hole"". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  19. ^ "The Hole". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  20. ^ TIFF 09: THE HOLE Review – Joe Dante, Horror
  21. ^ "The Hole Opens Late Summer/Fall?". 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  22. ^ "Unofficial Trailer for The Hole Springs a Leak". 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  23. ^ "The Castro Theatre Current Schedule of Events". Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  24. ^

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