The Hole (2001)

b0000ard7t01lzzzzzzz1While facing a couple of days without Internet, I decided to head to Walmart to pick up some cheap DVDs.  I found this one for $5.83 and picked it up on the basis of the back cover synopsis.  Sadly enough, NOT worth every penny.

The story is quite simple: four teenagers from a private boarding school in Britain go missing.  Only one of the four comes back and weaves a sad, strange tale about what happened to her and the other three teens.  But what really happened in…(duh duh daaaa)…The Hole?

Liz (Thora Birch) is first seen wandering aimlessly down a road towards her school, obviously out of her mind.  Locked in a mental institute, her psychiatrist Dr. Phillipa Horwood (Embeth Davitz) attempts to get the truth out of her about what exactly transpired.  Liz’s tale seems nearly plausible at first: she is in love with American student Mike (Desmond Harrington) and confesses it to her friend Martyn (Daniel Brocklebank), who seems to be in love with her.  However, Martyn and Liz hatch a plan in which she, Mike, and two other friends Frankie (Kiera Knightley) and Geoff (Laurence Fox) spend a week inside an abandoned bunker a short distance away from the school.  For some reason the other three teens are so excited by this prospect that they pay Martyn for the opportunity.  The day comes and Martyn locks them in.  However, angered by Liz’ affection for Mike, he decides not to let them out.  Nobody knows they are there, as Martyn has used his mad computer skills to make it appear to parents as though the students went on a field trip, and that the school records indicate they all went home.  Liz tells the story of the four of them telling ghost tales and then trying to contact Martyn through a number of recording devices and cameras he placed around the bunker in order to free themselves.  We realize this story was completely made up when it ends with the sudden opening of the bunker door and the four of them climb out into fresh air and sunlight.  Meanwhile, Martyn is taken into custody where he alleges his innocence.

Dr. Horwood attempts again, this time through hynopsis and meditation, and Liz begins to weave a different tale altogether.  Yes, she was in love with Mike.  So in love, in fact, that she found the bunker and concocted the trip herself (only enlisting Martyn for his mad computer skills) in the hope that somehow Mike would fall in love with her.  Once inside, the four teens party heavily, and Liz finds herself watching the flirtatious Frankie embark on a near twosome with Mike and Geoff, while Liz is forced to watch from the sidelines.  Incensed, she decides not to let anyone out of the bunker.

They had only been planning to stay there for three days.  On the third day they realize the door is locked and nobody can hear them calling for help.  They begin rationing out what water they have left.  Frankie comes down with a horrible illness and eventually dies.  Even though Liz is perfectly capable of letting them out, she pretends she can’t and mourns the death of Frankie with the other two.  Geoff is killed by Mike in a gruesome death when Mike finds out he’s been hiding cans of Coke from them.  Sickly and starving, Mike finally tells Liz he loves her before they drift off to sleep.  Liz decides to try and escape when Mike is sleeping, and opens the door.  Mike wakes up and becomes angry to find out that Liz had the key all along.  He lunges for her, but falls from the ladder used to get out and ends up impaling himself.  Liz escapes, and ends up back at the school where it all began.

This DVD now has the high place on my shelf of other unwatchable movies I found in the bargain bin, because it’s horrible on so many levels.  But it looked so good from the cover!  Overall, I found the whole “woman scorned by man she’s in love with” premise a bit shoddy.  What was worse though, is I figured this would be similar to “Saw”, with some unknown presence terrorizing the teens.  The real story is so anticlimactic I nearly fell asleep once I realized what was going on, but kept watching in the hopes that something would actually happen.  Nothing did.  Liz was obsessed, went crazy, and that is the end.  The writing was terrible…it was almost as if an American wrote the script using American terms and language, then got it filmed in Britain for some unknown reason.  Because of the accents, nothing sounded right.  Or looked right, for that matter.

Don’t waste your time on this one.

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