Having relocated to rural Ireland, single mum Sarah (Seána Kerslake) is driving home with her son Chris (James Quinn Markey). Narrowly missing a spectre-like woman in the road (Kati Outinen), it later emerges that this is Noreen Brady, a lost soul who forever roams the woods looking for her dead son.
Warning Chris never to wander into the woods on his own, Sarah is shocked to later find him gone from his bed. Finding him stood next to a huge, ominous sink hole, her once playful boy seems to have changed, but why is she the only one who can see it?
... treads fresh life in what was the otherwise scorched earth of child possession.
Director Lee Cronin’s debut feature ‘A Hole In The Ground’ treads fresh life in what was the otherwise scorched earth of child possession. Skilfully weaving a plausible atmosphere, this Finnish/Irish co-production leans on its damp, Gaelic setting without ever becoming reliant upon it. With its towering woods, squelching tarmac and naturalistic lighting, we are introduced into a worn landscape that is slowly but surely bleeding into its characters.
Increasingly consumed by this dewy locale, Seána Kerslake’s Sarah comes across as a palpably distressed yet accessible heroine. Evading obvious comparisons with modern classic ‘The Babadook’, Kerslake’s Sarah is not one for excessive screaming. Nor is her son, excellently played by James Quinn Markey who seamlessly shifts between childlike and chilling. Add to these two, a brilliantly earnest James Cosmo as Noreen Brady’s well-meaning husband and you have a triptych of quality performances that attractively hang both grit and plausibility over a slow boiling plot.
Delivering chills with each of its slow revelations, ‘A Hole In The Ground’ is that rarest of horror movies which delivers a satisfying finale lingering with possibilities.
Here be talent.
Watch it now, before the stateside remake is green lit.