The Hole in the Ground (2019)
Every year A24 seems to start off with some pretty weak films and this year is no different. Fresh off of Sundance, The Hole in the Ground is just about as generic of a horror film as you can get. Lee Cronin clearly was inspired by some of the deeper and more interesting horror films of the modern era, but instead of bringing some new twist or unique perspective this film just goes through the motions and shows just how dull these ideas can really be.
As I mentioned this movie has elements that directly feel like they were pulled from other modern horror classics like The Babadook and Goodnight Mommy. This tells the story of Sarah O'Neill, a single mother who starts to notice weird things happening around her, and eventually even with her son Chris. She quickly becomes paranoid with the idea that her son has been replaced by an evil imposter and that something has happened to her real son. Again this is not a new plot and like I said this take really feels like it is going through the motions, the "creepy" horror elements feel lifeless and weak. At this point with where horror is seeing an old woman standing in the middle of the road only goes so far. This type of plot can have really interesting things especially with pushing and exploring the relationship between mother and son, but this movie instead created forgettable cookie cutter characters that fail to stand out as memorable or special.
The third act of this movie also stands out as particularly weak, I don't want to give too much away but how they pay off the suspense and questions set up throughout this movie (especially with if Chris was replaced or not) feels very disappointing and anticlimactic. Just like with the horror elements they fail to bring any artistic value or creative ideas to this conclusion, instead, they have a very dull and straight forward third act that does wrap up the plot and answers those questions, just not in satisfying ways that make this movie feels like it has a good pay off. I will give this movie credit where it is due, it does look nice with some really solid directing and cinematography. Seána Kerslake also gives a really good performance, sure it isn't anything we haven't seen before but you can tell that she is trying her hardest and she does the best she could do with her character (who has some really terrible writing also).
In conclusion, there is nothing I can recommend about this movie, I honestly can't think of one reason you would sit through its runtime. It is such a generic and lifeless movie, and even the good parts you can find in other films with the same concept that are much better.