Honestly speaking, it isn’t re-runs of One Born Every Minute that puts me of bringing kids into the world, it’s horror films.
From Rosemary’s Baby to Pet Semetary, the horror genre has taught me time and again that babies bring with them a hoard of demons from the shadowy pits of hell.
Will my future children end up impaling priests and hanging nannies? Or will they prefer climbing through TV screens to pick off the last few remaining VHS users? Either way, I am loathe to find out.
And an upcoming movie, freshly debuted at Sundance, looks set to knock the final nail in the coffin of any lingering nappy scented dreams I might have held.
Directed by Lee Cronin, The Hole in the Ground (2019) shows there’s nothing delicate or pretty about ancient Irish folklore.
This eerie piece of Irish cinema is set against a beautiful yet foreboding stretch of forest, and follows a concerned mother, Sarah (Seána Kerslake) who notices disturbing changes in her young son after he goes missing in the woods.
Now, little Christopher’s (James Quinn Markey) personality change could well be an emotional reaction to past traumas – it is suggested his mother has experienced domestic abuse – but it could also be something entirely more otherworldly altogether.
Cue secret spider nibbling and menacing old women, with paranoia and confusion filling Sarah and Christopher’s isolated home. And – of course – the escalating sense of dread circles around an almost impossibly huge hole in the ground.
Hailed by Spin 103.8 as a ‘game changer for Irish horror’, this creepy tale is already being compared to some pretty meaty pillars of horror.
The audience at Sundance reportedly leapt from their seats in fright during some moments, with Jude Dry from IndieWire hailing the movie as the ‘next Hereditary‘.
Dan Jackson from Thrillist has compared Markey’s portrayal to the iconic performance given by Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.
The film is also being spoken about in the same breath of acclaimed modern horrors such as The Witch and The Babadook, sharing many of the same themes of complex, twisted family ties.
Rafael Motamayor from Bloody Disgusting wrote:
The Hole in the Ground doesn’t hide its influences, from the more obvious like The Babadook, to a wallpaper that looks eerily similar to the rugs in the Overlook Hotel, to even a pinch of The Descent.
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND is not to be missed. Masterful direction, stunning visuals, and tremendous acting (not to mention the disturbing score) brings this film to the forefront of the horror/thriller genre. Well done @sundancefest @A24 #sundance #theholeintheground
— Joseph Harter (@joseph_harter) January 26, 2019
the hole in the ground is the best horror movie i’ve seen in months holy shit
— molly frances haines (@mo11yhaines) January 26, 2019
The Hole in the Ground is a well done thriller directed by Lee Cronin. His & Stephen Shield’s script draws a deep sense of dread for a mom/son & it also works as a strong character study.
It’s worth seeing & has a bit in common with a certain recent film I love – won’t spoil it.
— Jeff Goldsmith (@yogoldsmith) January 26, 2019
The IMDb synopsis explains:
Trying to escape her broken past, Sarah O’Neill is building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris.
A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbour shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiralling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust, as she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.
With plenty of buzz surrounding its impending release, this could be the first big horror film of 2019.
The Hole in the Ground (2019) will come to UK cinemas March, 1, 2019.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.