The Hole (DVD, 2003) Reviews
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The Hole (DVD, 2003)

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The Hole - An Edge-of-Your-Seat Psychological Thriller

Apr 8, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Unique, dark, thought-provoking, spellbinding suspense

Cons:May not be your cup of tea

The Bottom Line: The Hole is a dark, psychological thriller about four prep school friends that spend time in an abandoned bunker to ditch a school field trip...with disastrous results.

The Hole is a 2001 movie that tells the story of four English prep school friends who decide to ditch a school field trip and instead spend the time partying in an underground, abandoned bunker…with disastrous results.


Elizabeth “Liz” Dunn - Thora Birch
Frances “Frankie” Almond Smith - Keira Knightley
Michael “Mike” Steel - Desmond Harrington
Geoffrey “Geoff” Bingham - Laurence Fox
Dr Phillipa Horwood - Embeth Davidtz
Martyn Taylor - Daniel Brocklebank


The movie opens showing a filthy dirty, disheveled Liz stumbling down a road.  She passes posters with her and her friends’ pictures on them.  They’ve been missing for 18 days.  She reaches a phone, dials for help and screams.

The scene then moves to Liz and psychiatrist, Dr. Phillipa Horwood.  Dr. Horwood is questioning Liz about the events that took place since the four were reported missing.  Liz tells her that to avoid a field trip, Martyn suggested that they stay in an abandoned bunker that he knows about.  He will lock them in; and then come bank and open the door when the field trip is over.  Martyn never shows up; and the friends start to turn on each other.  They discover that Martyn has hidden microphones down in the bunker so that he can hear all that is going on.  Under Liz's direction with suggestions that she writes on large cards, the group “play-acts” that Frankie is sick, Mike blames Liz and hates her for getting them into this mess.   Martyn has been in love with Liz since they were 11; and they know that’s why he didn’t come back.  He wants Mike to hate Liz; and that’s what he’s wanted all along.  If they can prove that this has happened and that Frankie is sick, Martyn will come and open the door. One morning they wake up, and the door is open.  Liz’s plan has worked; and she is hailed as the hero for saving them all. 

Shortly after, Dr. Horwood is speaking to someone on the phone.  She doesn’t believe one word of her story.

Martyn is arrested; and tells a completely different story.  He states that Liz wanted to be with Mike; and Frankie wanted to be with Geoff.  They believe Martyn is guilty but have no evidence to hold him.

Liz now claims that she can’t remember any details about what happened.  Dr. Horwood feels that if she takes Liz down into the bunker, it may jar her memory.  Dr. Horwood and Liz go down into the bunker; and Liz slowly relates what actually happened.

The Truth

Liz and Martyn are talking.  They have been friends for a long time and can share anything.  She asks him if he knows what it’s like to love someone; but they don’t know that you exist?  The look on Martyn’s face tells it all.  He knows exactly what she’s talking about; and it’s obvious that he’s in love with her and always has been.  Martyn tells her about an abandoned bomb shelter.  They can party and avoid the field trip and Liz can be with Mike.

Frankie, Liz’s best friend, boldly walks into the men’s shower room (beware --- complete nudity).  She tells Geoff, the object of her affection, about their plans and says to make sure that Mike comes along. 

I would be remiss if I shared any more details about the movie.

My Observations

This is a dark, dark, thought-provoking movie.  This is not a cookie cutter piece of tripe that is so often fed to us from the Hollywood studios in this country.  This movie delves deeply into the psyche of each character and into the mind games that Liz is guilty of.  She encourages the paranoia of the group that has set in since they have realized that they are trapped.  Liz will not do practically anything to make Mike love her…She will do anything.

Director Nick Hamm does an excellent job of creating the eerie atmosphere that is prevalent throughout the movie.

My Rating

Preferences are a personal thing.  I have two opposing "likes".  I love a light comedy; but I also like a deep, thought-provoking theme.  I have seen this movie several times; and it always has the same powerful effect on me.  Some people hate this movie.  You may hate it too; but I urge you to give it a chance.  It’s so different from anything else I’ve ever seen.

R Rating

This movie is definitely not for the kiddies!  There is Violence, Language, Sexual Content and Nudity.  The dark tone of the movie is also not suitable for a young person of any age.

The Book

If you are fascinated with the movie and want more, the film is based on a book titled “After the Hole” by Guy Burt.


The DVD contains the Director’s Commentary, deleted scenes and an alternate ending.  I have watched this movie on regular television and Netflix, so I have not seen the alternate ending which intrigues me.

This movie is rated R.

Thank you for stopping by…I can’t wish you “happy viewing”; but I will wish you “thought-provoking” viewing.

Recommend this product? Yes

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This British thriller stars Thora Birch as Liz, a teenager at a private school who has been through a harrowing experience with three of her classmate...
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