Notes taken while Watching The Hole in the Ground in lieu of celebrating Thanksgiving

The Hole in the Ground

Is this Finnish? Finnish Film Council...

We start with a close-up on this woman's face. They have a key light on her eyes, which look almost unfocused.  She has very full lips, which are arranged in a pout. This is setting a mood.

Kid fucking around with a funhouse mirror.  That seems like it has significance for later.

Mom is smiling now.

They're a happy family.  The music is sad, though.

Helicopter shot of the car calls forth deep The Shining vibes. That cannot be an accident.  I hope this movie didn't just write a check it can't cash.

No dialogue yet.

Underlit foreboding forest.  Conifer trees.  They always look good on film.

Okay, the helicopter shot of the car slowly flipped. The road and vehicle are upside down at the top of the screen.  We saw this same shot in Ari Aster's Midsommar . I wonder who did it first. No matter,  though.  It works. Instant unease.

This is in English.

Anus face! Funny kid.

An accident.  They struck someone with their car. Mom gets out to check. We see her reflection in the broken side view mirror that has fallen to the road. A different kind of funhouse mirror.  That's gonna mean something for sure.

Hooded figure.  Muttering.  Weird.

It's an old woman. Mom takes her damn mirror and leaves.

Don't use a spatula to strip wallpaper!

We get a minute of the happy mother and child  then she goes off to the basement.

The boy screaming.

It's just a spider.

This kid's a little bastard.  Murdered a spider.  Calling his mom names. I don't like him.

I need a snack.

The little bastard runs into the creepy forest and mom follows.

And there's the hole!

That's a big sinkhole. Good thing noone fell into it.

Creepy house noises late at night.

The score here is very sparse. Good sound design.  Good use of light and shadow.

Dinner party I guess.

These people all look familiar.

Oh! The muttering hooded lady is crazy, lives up in the hills and maybe murdered someone.

Old hill woman long ago killed her son after she went nuts and thought he wasn't her son. That's significant.

Just build some creepy mood now. Good job movie.

These pretzels are making me thirsty.

This house is awesome.  Big, old, creepy as hell.

Scary night lit by flashlight.  Nice.

So the boy was missing for fifteen minutes?

Mom is getting some anxiety meds, and the movie is hinting that her ex was abusive.

Can this kid teleport?

I was playing Witcher 3 earlier today. There's a lot of teleportation in that.

If this kid is a pod person,  his mom should just accept it. He's much sweeter than he was before.  Serious improvement.

Is crazy old lady back? The boy doesn't like it at all.

Seriously though,  the kid picked his mom flowers,  is making friefrie, doing his homework . A+ pod child here.

Hey, I know that guy. That's James Cosmo.

The camera is very dynamic when nothing is happening.

Crows? Ope! Crows are eating the old lady..that's sad.

That kid can arm wrestle.

The sinkhole motif is strong.  We have had inserts of tea swirling in a cup, soapy water down a drain, and a close up on an eye. The patterns are striking.

Have we abandoned the mirror motif? I expect it to return.

Where did that blood come from?

I suppose you would call this deliberately paced.

At the old lady's funeral the mirrors are covered . Mom takes a peek.

Is it just mirrors or arr photos covered too. If it's just mirrors,  that's a fuck ton of mirrors

Cosmo is good at being sad, that's for sure.

That's a  revelation.

Mom goes jogging in the creepy ass woods, which seems like an odd move. She finds the kid's action figure.  Would he leave his toy behind? Is that the kind of kid he is?

She's really close to that hole.

The way they're lit, these woods are otherworldly.  This just looks amazing.

The sink hole is sinking.  It looks like a living thing.  Like a Sarlac pit. This is actually a little Lovecraftian.

Match cut from the pit to the kid's mouth is interesting.

This kid is lying.

This kid is too strong to be a kid. But he seems genuinely contrite after arguing with his mom.

I had to look up the actress playing the mom. It's  Se├ína Kerslake. She's doing a great job creating a portrait of someone slowly sliding over the edge. She also has this great sadness that stays just under the skin, just behind the eyes. I haven't seen her in anything else .

Holy hell! He's eating spiders.  Eeewww. Crawling skin. Maybe the pod person version of this kid isn't an improvement after all. 

She's going to spy on him. That might be a bad idea.

Just made me cringe and jump but it was a damned dream sequence.  I hate that.

This kid is pretty good. 

Uh oh. "He's not my son".

The old lady's house is filled with mirrors. 

Mom saw something on her camera.  She showed Cosmo. We still have not seen it. Will we?

Okay, real talk. Pro: kid is polite, loves his mum, makes friends,  takes part in school activities.  Con: eats spiders. 

Either this kid really is a Lovecraftian monster, or she's vert very light. 

Oh fuck! He's burying her head. 

Okay, she escaped.  And she's turned the tables. 

Mirror time. 

This kid screams in a totally Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers way. Plus some sort of seizure. 

To the hole!

She's getting sucked in!  

Very claustrophobic.  She's crawling through tunnels.  Everything is wet.

A little Alien feel here. This movie really riffs on classic tropes. Gonna have to look up the director.  

Turns out it's Lee Cronin.  He hasn't done much prior to this. I bet he does interesting things in the future. 

Oh good. Human remains .

Hey, she
 Found her kid.

Something is with them though.  A monster of some sort. Lots of them. Lots of eyeless things that jerk in the dark. 

Oooohhh. Wet squelching noises. This is gut twisting.  

Could we have a happy ending? Maybe?

Ambiguity is good.

And that's the end.