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The Underrated Horror Thriller You Can Watch On Amazon Video

The size and scope of the massive sinkhole, referenced in the title of The Hole in the Ground, is drastically underestimated. Calling the spooky, absorbing pit a mere hole will shock moviegoers, once it's revealed. Directed and co-written by Irish newcomer Lee Cronin, the 2019 horror thriller premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to mixed reviews, per Variety. Thriller enthusiasts can now stream the movie on Amazon Prime Video. As genre films go, the movie is definitely a slow burn, with the typical markings of a horror movie — a lack of sunshine, a home in the woods, a mumbling old woman in the road, and a creepy kid. Fans of creepy kid thrillers, like the original The Bad Seed, The Good Son, or The Shining, will enjoy this movie for a mystical take on the body snatcher theme.

Seána Kerslake plays Sarah O'Neill, a young single mother who moves to rural Ireland to make a fresh start with her son Chris (James Quinn Markey). We don't know where they've moved from, but we know they left Chris' father behind, for reasons that are later alluded to as abuse. The adolescent son is, of course, upset about this abrupt change and acts out. He runs into the woods near their home and Sarah runs after him. Audiences paying deep attention will catch the plane — or comet — descending through the sky as Sarah runs into the woods. She comes upon the enormous sinkhole and assumes Chris has fallen in. But, Chris — or some version of him — appears behind her, unharmed.

An interesting take on European mythology

Over the course of the underrated movie Sarah grapples with whether Chris is actually her son, or if she's having a psychotic breakdown. Matters are only made worse when friends tell her the story of the old woman who killed her son because she didn't think he really was her son. This is the woman Sarah meets in the road, mumbling in a white nightgown. The woman tells Sarah that Chris isn't her son, shaking Sarah to her core.

In European folklore, the changeling is a mythical creature that is thought to be the offspring of fairies. They are secretly swapped out with infants and given to the devil to bolster the fairy clan. The myth of the changeling played out in European history, seeing many children experience neglect and abuse. A 2019 Austin Chronicle review wrote The Hole in the Ground "strips the legend back to its simplest components."

Already suffering from the stress of single parenthood and fixing up a shabby home, the last thing Sarah needs is to have an evil imposter living down the hall. As Sarah deteriorates into frightful anguish over Chris' behavior, Kerslake's performance is what keeps audiences engaged. On the strength of her performance, a RogerEbert.com reviewer noted, "you do get a sense of the terror of being stuck with someone you do not know, and the nightmarish helplessness of people not believing you." This sense of disbelief quietly takes the movie to unexpected places toward the end and leaves viewers on an ambiguous cliffhanger.