At last getting any form of non-festival domestic distribution, Joe Dante's family-oriented (family-friendly may be a stretch) horror film The Hole can be seen this weekend in 3D in Los Angeles and, surprise of surprises, metro Atlanta. A minor Dante work, it nevertheless shows off the director's capable horror chops with a reference-heavy but straightforward film about children forced to confront their darkest fears. But rather than chuck in every scare he can think of, Dante focuses on the fears based on traumas rather than the irrational phobias (barring that of the youngest child, too young to have internalized the real horrors of the world). The result is surprisingly moving, and part of the welcome handful of recent, all-ages horror movies that challenge kids, particularly the stop-motion work out of Laika. That The Hole, Coraline and ParaNorman have morals to them in many ways makes them some of the best mature horror films in years.
My full review is up at Spectrum Culture.