The Hole

The Hole

Nick Hamm (2001)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Caught in the trap of not knowing how to achieve respectable claustrophobic chills rather than simply descend into trashy psychological horror, this adaptation of Guy Burt's cult novel After the Hole from director Nick Hamm is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, this sly study in teenage angst is a harrowing thriller raising some interesting questions about love-crazed students and the lengths to which they will go to get what they want. But on the other, it's a murky muddle of unbelievable motivations and shaggy-dog daftness that evokes little real empathy. The sole idea is to keep the audience guessing about what's going on right up until the last minute. And the creepy explanation is quite a good one. Yet the slow descent into sleight-of-hand suspense, virtually negating everything that has gone before, strains credibility to breaking point, as posh pupil Thora Birch suddenly reappears after going missing for 18 days and police psychologist Embeth Davidtz tries to find out where she's been and what happened to her three companions. Beginning like a British version of Heathers and using the device of different perspectives, the story offers moody atmospherics and some sporadic thrills. Although the film is initially intriguing, as Hamm makes tense use of the quirky premise, in the final analysis its flaws far outweigh its twisty film noir theatrics.


Four school friends escape the tedium of a field trip by hiding in an underground bunker, only to realise they are inexplicably sealed in. As panic gnaws away at them, tensions inevitably rise, and they desperately try to work out how they can escape. Thriller, starring Thora Birch, Keira Knightley, Desmond Harrington, Daniel Brocklebank, Embeth Davidtz and Steven Waddington.

Cast & Crew

Elizabeth "Liz" Dunn Thora Birch
Mike Desmond Harrington
Martin Daniel Brocklebank
Geoff Laurence Fox
Frankie Keira Knightley
DCS Tom Howard Steven Waddington
Dr Philipa Norwood Embeth Davidtz
Daisy Emma Griffiths Malin
Mrs Dunn Gemma Craven
Director Nick Hamm
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: PathéGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes and nudityAvailable on: video and DVDReleased on: 20 Apr 2001