HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE HOLE (2001)

CAST

Keira Knightley (King Arthur)
Thora Birch (American Beauty)
Desmond Harrington (Wrong Turn)
Daniel Brocklebank (The Hours)
Laurence Fox (Gosford Park)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)

0_B0nelyje-Vqna9EvThe film opens with the appearance of a dishevelled, blood-soaked Liz (Thora Birch), one of four private school pupils, also including Mike (Desmond Harrington), Geoff (Laurence Fox), and Frankie (Keira Knightley), who have been missing for 18 days. Liz is interviewed by a psychiatrist, Dr. Philippa Horwood (Embeth Davidtz), and describes what has happened to the four. Liz describes how she told Martyn (Daniel Brocklebank) about her unrequited love for Mike; Martyn promised to help, as he and Liz were best friends. Martyn took his four classmates, musician’s son Mike, his best friend Geoff, Liz and popular girl Frankie to an abandoned underground nuclear fallout shelter, where they decided to stay in order to avoid a school field trip. The four students climbed into the shelter, Mike reluctantly, and Martyn locked the door shut.
Impulse-empowers-assault-survivors-to-speak-out-producer-Doug-Liman-saysWhen Martyn was due to release them, the locked-in students belatedly realized they were trapped and began to turn on each other. Then they discovered that Martyn had hidden microphones in the shelter. Voice-acting, Frankie pretended to be sick, while Mike and Liz pretended to hate each other because Liz had said that this was what Martyn wanted – he had been in love with Liz “since we were eleven”. The plan apparently worked, as one morning they woke up and the hatch was open. They all climbed out, and Liz described how Mike hugged her, thanking her for saving them. However, soon after Liz finishes her story, the psychiatrist tells someone on the phone that she does not believe Liz’s story, while Liz waves happily to her from the window behind her.
impulse-maddie-hasson-youtube-redMartyn has been taken into custody for questioning in regards to Liz’s story and the psychiatrist brings Liz back to her home. Martyn begins telling the police a completely different story, claiming that Liz and Frankie orchestrated the scheme, to allow Liz to get close to Mike, and Frankie to spend time with Geoff. The police are forced to release Martyn, despite their belief he is guilty, because they can find no evidence. In the meantime, Liz is experiencing flashbacks of the true events in the hole. Martyn comes to see her, angry and distraught that she has framed him. She runs from him through the garden and approaches a weir. Martyn cries, and Liz hysterically says that she knew they would let him go because they could not prove anything. She strokes his neck, but what happens next is not revealed.
impulse-season-2-maddie-hasson-daniel-maslany-henry-townes-youtube-premiumAt their next meeting, Liz tells the psychiatrist that she cannot remember what happened, however hard she tries. The psychiatrist is persuaded to take Liz back to the hole. Once inside, Liz reveals the truth: Liz had locked herself and her comrades in as a last-minute change to an adolescent plan to win Mike’s affection – a spontaneous response to the realization that both Geoff and Mike were attracted to Frankie and had both slept with her. Her obsession with Mike led Liz to believe that, with time, she could win him over, and that locking the door bought her time. Their sojourn in the bunker was initially meant to be a booze and drug party, but when they realized that they could not get out anymore, the mood quickly turned sour. Frankie soon ended up dead from side effects of her bulimia.
Impulse-Season-2-YouTube-HenryThe remaining three gradually ran out of food and water. Before Liz can tell Mike that she had the key, Mike discovers that Geoff was hoarding Cola in his bag, and kills him in an uncontrollable outburst of violence by smashing his head against the concrete floor. Reduced to two, Liz suggested a suicide pact, whereupon Mike professed his love for Liz, prompting Liz to climb the ladder towards the shelter’s entrance and unlock the door. Perched on a landing high above the shelter’s floor, she told Mike she had had the key all along; she had done it all for him. Mike, overwhelmed by the events of the past few days, angrily rushed up the ladder towards her, but the ladder broke and Mike fell to his death, crushed by the broken ladder.
MV5BMjhiYTA3ZGItNTVkMC00YTRjLTk2NDQtZThiYjhjZTQwMmQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQxOTM1NTc@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_
The film then cuts back to Liz and the psychiatrist, Liz concluding that since Mike is dead, he can never leave her. Dr. Horwood asks her to make an official statement which would corroborate Martyn’s version of events, although Liz refuses and it is revealed that Liz has murdered Martyn. The police then arrive at the bunker and Liz begins screaming for help as if the doctor was trying to hurt her. The body of Martyn is fished from the river where he had previously chased Liz and the key is found in his pocket, therefore placing guilt on Martyn and the police attribute his death to suicide. In the end, Liz is allowed to go free. The film ends with her sitting in the back of an ambulance, smiling at the doctor, which turns into a somewhat sinister look.MV5BZjJkMTJkOTktYTIyNi00OGVmLWJjNGMtMDhkOWJkNmJjNjVmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDQzMDYzOQ@@._V1_The casting is superb. Every actor/actress suits his/her part exactly. The suspense is also particularly good at many points. On the whole, if you’re looking for a chilling look into the human psyche, this is a great film

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN BEAUTY

CAST
Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns)
Annette Bening (The Siege)
Thora Birch (The Hole)
Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games)
Mena Suvari (American Pie)
Chris Cooper (Red Dawn)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Peter Gallagher (Mr. Deeds)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Sam Robards (A.I.)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Ara Celi (Machete)
Lester Burnham is a middle-aged magazine writer and advertising executive who despises his job. His wife, Carolyn, is an ambitious real estate broker; their sixteen-year-old daughter, Jane, abhors her parents and has low self-esteem. The Burnhams’ new neighbors are retired United States Marine Corps Colonel Frank Fitts and his introverted wife, Barbara. Their teenage son, Ricky, obsessively films his surroundings with a camcorder, collecting hundreds of recordings on video tapes in his bedroom. His job as a part-time bar caterer serves as a front for his secret marijuana dealing. Col. Fitts is a strict disciplinarian, and had previously sent Ricky to a military school and briefly committed him to a psychiatric hospital. Jim Olmeyer and Jim Berkley, a gay couple who live nearby, welcome the family to the neighborhood; the homophobic Col. Fitts angrily asks Ricky “why these faggots have to rub it in”.
Lester becomes fixated with Jane’s vain cheerleader friend, Angela Hayes, after seeing her perform a half-time dance routine at a high school basketball game. He starts having sexual fantasies about Angela, in which red rose petals are a recurring motif. Carolyn begins an affair with her business rival, Buddy Kane. When Lester’s boss and efficiency expert Brad tells him that he is to be laid off, Lester instead blackmails him for $60,000 and quits his job. Lester takes a minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant, trades in his Toyota Camry for his dream car, a 1970 Pontiac Firebird, and starts working out after he overhears Angela tell Jane that she would find him sexually attractive if he got in shape. He begins smoking marijuana supplied by Ricky, and flirts with Angela whenever she visits Jane. The girls’ friendship wanes after Jane becomes involved with Ricky. Jane and Ricky bond over what Ricky considers the most beautiful imagery he has filmed: a plastic bag being blown in the wind.
Lester discovers Carolyn’s infidelity, but reacts indifferently. Buddy ends the affair, fearing an expensive divorce. Col. Fitts becomes suspicious of Lester and Ricky’s friendship when he finds his son’s footage of Lester lifting weights while nude, which Ricky captured by chance, leading him to believe that Ricky is gay. After spying on Ricky and Lester through Lester’s garage window, the colonel mistakenly concludes the pair are sexually involved. He later confronts and beats Ricky for the affair and accuses him of being gay. Ricky falsely admits the charges and goads his father into kicking him out of their home. Carolyn is sitting in her car in the rain, she takes a gun out of the glove box while a voice on the radio talks about not being a victim. Ricky goes to Jane’s bedroom, finding her arguing with Angela about Angela’s flirtation with Lester. Ricky convinces Jane to flee with him to New York City and assures Angela that she is ugly, boring and ordinary.
Col. Fitts confronts Lester and attempts to kiss him; Lester rebuffs the colonel, who tearfully flees. Carolyn puts the gun in her handbag shouting “I refuse to be a victim!” Lester finds a distraught Angela sitting alone in the dark; she asks him to tell her she is beautiful. He does, and he begins to seduce her.
Carolyn drives through the rain, rehearsing a confession to Lester. As Lester strokes Angela she admits that she is a virgin, and Lester changes his mind. He instead comforts her and the pair bond over their shared frustrations. Angela goes to the bathroom and Lester smiles at a family photograph in his kitchen. An unseen figure raises a gun to the back of his head, a gunshot sounds and blood sprays on the wall. Ricky and Jane find Lester’s body, while Carolyn breaks down crying in the closet. A bloodied Col. Fitts returns home, where a gun is shown to be missing from his collection. Lester’s closing narration describes meaningful experiences during his life; he says that, despite his death, he is happy because there is so much beauty in the world.
American Beauty is a pure cinematic triumph that is both funny and sad. It’s disturbing… and yet, it’s extremely provocative and deep. The film is an extraordinary achievement that reveals a tragic and realistic story about a family that is anything but ordinary. It’s a film with so many layers that it is almost impossible to dissect them all in one single thought.