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In director Joe Dante's cute but slight teen horror, two brothers and their next-door neighbour discover a mysterious hole in the basement of their new home, boarded up and padlocked by the previous owner. It turns out that the bottomless pit is something out of the combined imaginations of HP Lovecraft (a gateway to another world) and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (a Stygian abyss). The result: those who look into it must face monstrous manifestations of their fears. Very much in the Dante family-friendly fantasy tradition of
, this nostalgic exercise in mild scares resembles the director's segment from
Twilight Zone: the Movie
in many creepy/fun respects, covering the baleful bases of ghosts, demons and clowns. While the film is not exactly top-notch in production, casting or originality, the script (by
Mark L Smith) is bright and breezy and Dante's harder edge occasionally shines through, especially in the surreal nightmare finale. For those who see it in 3D, just sit back and marvel as knives spin out and jesters jump from the screen.
Two brothers left alone in their new house discover a mysterious hole in the basement. Aided by a girl living next door, they explore the dark depths in search of treasure, only to end up in a strange world where they must each face their own worst fears. Joe Dante's horror, starring Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo and Bruce Dern.
Cast & Crew
DVD and Blu-ray
17 Sep 2010
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