Throughout his career Joe Dante has been good with child actors. He’s made successful films for both adults and kids, yet The Hole is aimed mostly at younger folks despite some adult themes. Dante for all of his faults never talks down to his audience and The Hole works as an exercise in what scares us. Literally.

Two brothers, Dane and Lucas, move into a new house in a small town with their mother. They befriend the local neighborh girl, Julie, and in the process uncovers a hole covered by a door in their basement. Opening the door leads to creepy things happening, such as Lucas getting attacked by the world’s scariest puppet and Julie facing a ghost from her past. Despite some flaws and the film taking a bit too long to become interesting, this is a fun and sometimes surprising flick. Plus it has cameos from Dick Miller and Bruce Dern, which is a nice touch.

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