EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HOLE, THE (LE REFUGE) (director: Nick Hamm; screenwriters: from the novel "After the Hole" by Guy Burt/Ben Court/Caroline Ip; cinematographer: Dennis Crossan; editor: Niven Howie; music: Clint Mansell; cast: Thora Birch (Liz Dunn), Desmond Harrington (Mike Steel), Daniel Brocklebank (Martin Taylor), Laurence Fox (Geoff Bingham), Keira Knightley (Frankie Alton Smith), Embeth Davidtz (Dr Phillippa Horwood), Steven Waddington (DCS Tom Howard); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jeremy Bolt/Lisa Boyer/Pippa Cross; Seville Pictures; 2001-UK)|
a good ambiguous premise but comes apart when it must reach a
conclusion if its protagonist, Liz Dunn (Thora Birch), is a
psychopath or a victim."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Nick Hamm ("Godsend"/"The Very Thought of You") helms this stylish Brit teen thriller that has a good ambiguous premise but comes apart when it must reach a conclusion if its protagonist, Liz Dunn (Thora Birch), is a psychopath or a victim. The truth when revealed makes everything prior seem contrived and the pic loses its credibility. It's based on the novel "After the Hole" by Guy Burt and is written by Ben Court and Caroline Ip.
English boarding school
student Liz is one of four classmates missing for the last two weeks,
but suddenly appears disorientated and unable to say what happened as
she is roaming the empty corridors of her elite school before
discovered. Liz reluctantly tells police psychologist Dr Phillippa
Horwood (Embeth Davidtz), after much
prodding, that the four students were trapped inside an abandoned
wartime army bunker (the film's so called 'hole'). The other students
trapped are the jock Geoff Bingham (Laurence Fox), his pretty
girlfriend Frankie Alton Smith (Keira Knightley) and his best
friend, the son of a popular rock star, Mike Steel (Desmond
Harrington). The way Liz's first version comes out,
is that she has a crush on hunky Mike and gets her geeky school fixer
friend Martin Taylor (Daniel Brocklebank) to fix it so
that the four students hide-out undetected in the "hole" in the woods
and party instead of going on a field trip to Wales or home to their
parents for the three day holiday. Liz schemes to become close to Mike,
while Martin gets money from the boys for his effort and credit for
helping out the popular students. According to Liz, the other three
died because Martin failed to open the door as promised. When the
police grill him, they must release him because there's no proof of his
the time we see several other versions enacted, as if we were watching
Rashomon, the shrink gets Liz to tell her how the other students died
and we see more and more things she's not at first telling us.
bleak pic couldn't sustain the suspense and the fine acting job by
Birch (the American actress has a nice Brit accent) and her co-stars
could only take us so far. At least it didn't rely on cheap shocks from
the supernatural and let its surroundings provide the fright. But that
last version, as how it's resolved, is too absurd to take seriously.
REVIEWED ON 4/22/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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