Horror lovers kill for a good demonic child narrative: “The Exorcist,” “The Omen,” “Children of the Corn,” “Goodnight, Mommy,” “Pet Sematary” — the list goes on. Last year, “Hereditary” took the creepy child up a notch with Charlie, everyone’s favorite decapitated bird sculptor/decoy character. The genius of Ari Aster’s electric debut feature was in turning inherited trauma into real trauma, and creating a film that spoke to psychological depths while also delivering high-class thrills. (Thank you, Toni Collette).
This year, A24 has teamed up with DIRECTV to release yet another family horror. “The Hole in the Ground” delves into supernatural folklore to weave a tale about the primal fears of motherhood. Directed by Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin, who wrote the script with Stephen Shields, “The Hole in the Ground” appears to have all the elements of a horror classic. In the newly released trailer, a mother is driven slowly to the brink of sanity as she suspects her son isn’t himself.
The Sundance synopsis reads: “Sarah (Seána Kerslake) moves her precocious son, Chris (James Quinn Markey), to a secluded new home in a rural town, trying to ease his apprehensions as they hope for a fresh start after a difficult past. But after a startling encounter with a mysterious new neighbor, Sarah’s nerves are set on edge. Chris disappears in the night into the forest behind their house, and Sarah discovers an ominous, gaping sinkhole while searching for him. Though he returns, some disturbing behavioral changes emerge, and Sarah begins to worry that the boy who came back is not her son.”
“The Hole in the Ground” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the genre-heavy Midnight section. Per A24 and DIRECTV’s distribution partnership, “The Hole in the Ground” will be available on DIRECTV starting on January 31 and in theaters on March 1.
Check out the trailer (including some charming Irish accents) below.