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Film / The Hole in the Ground

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The Hole in the Ground is a horror thriller 2019 movie directed by Lee Cronin, from a screenplay by Cronin and Stephen Shields.

The movie follows a young woman named Sarah and her son, Chris, when they move to rural Ireland near a forest, where a large hole in the ground exists. After strange events, she starts suspecting that her son might have been switched by something else.

The Hole in the Ground contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Your child disappearing in unfamiliar territory and... not quite being the same when they come back.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Sarah manages to rescue Chris - the real Chris - from the titular hole in the ground, burns down the house with changeling Chris inside, and moves back to the city. However, when taking photos of Chris riding his bike outside, his face is very blurry compared to the rest of the photo, and the last shot is of the wall behind Sarah... which is covered in mirrors, suggesting that she still isn't entirely sure whether she's rescued human!Chris. Or, at least, is sure but will be forever paranoid against losing him again.
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  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Sarah gets increasingly bloodied and muddied during the course of the film, and she's covering a nasty scar with her bangs.
  • Book-Ends: Sarah and Chris start and end the film surrounded by mirrors.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Noreen, the old lady who lives near Sarah and Chris, and who claims that Chris isn't Sarah's son.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Chris turns out to be a changeling after his return from the forest.
  • Changeling Tale: What the film ultimately is. Specifically, Chris was/is the changeling in question.
  • Creepy Child: Christopher after his return from the forest.
  • Definite Article Title
  • Doppelgänger: Changeling Chris, but more directly Sarah sees one of herself. One of the changelings hiding in the hole in the ground imitated her to confuse or replace her, just as she's exiting their lair.
  • Eye Motifs: Oh yes. There are lots of closeups of eyes, or ocular objects in general. One standout example, if noticed by particularly observant viewers, is that Changeling Chris never blinks.
    • The titular hole in the ground looks like an iris with an expanding and contracting pupil.
  • Eye Scream: Changeling Chris claws at Sarah's eye whilst trying to get at the scar above it. Luckily, it turned out to be a hallucination, but it's still pretty horrific to see.
  • Foreshadowing: The first time we see Chris, it is when he is pulling faces in some bendy mirrors, which distorts his reflection. He is kidnapped by fae folk and replaced with a changeling, although we don't see the kidnapping itself.
  • Haunted House Historian: Sarah's boss and friend, providing exposition on Noreen and the fate of her son James.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Noreen covered her house in these, and regularly checked her husband to see if he hadn't been "replaced." Extends to cameras and video as well, with Changeling Chris displaying what looks like a black, insectoid face in a broken rearview mirror.
  • Offing the Offspring: Noreen killed her son due to her belief that he was a changeling. We see her real son's corpse at the end so she was right.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Christopher having lost his fear of spiders was one thing, but eating one?
  • Scenery Porn: Only natural for a film set in rural Ireland.
  • Shout-Out: The new wallpaper has a hexagonal pattern very similar to that of the carpet of the Overlook Hotel.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Sarah confirms her fears when she offers Chris the "dusty cheese", which he hates, and he happily spoons it onto his spaghetti, and follows it up with trying to play their game - which the replacement doesn't know.
  • The Unblinking: Changeling Chris never blinks.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The fae folk who kidnap children and replace them with doppelgangers, with the implication that they drain their life essence.


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