The hype train is starting to speed up for A24 and director Lee Cronin’s The Hole in the Ground, which just made its premiere at Sundance. The first reviews promise a tense, slow burn horror film that has been declared this year’s Hereditary. While that comparison may turn some viewers off from this Irish horror film, its new trailer should assuage any worries.

The latest trailer, which comes on the heels of its festival premiere, shows a deeply unsettling relationship between a mother and son, emphasized by an equally unsettling, staccato score. Obviously there are comparisons being drawn not just to Hereditary, but also to Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook (2014). Hopefully this film can break free from those comparisons and doesn’t fall victim to the hype machine that seems to afflict recent horror films.

 

Here is film’s synopsis from its Sundance program notes:

Sarah moves her precocious son, Chris, to a secluded new home in a rural town, trying to ease his apprehensions as they hope for a fresh start after a difficult past. But after a startling encounter with a mysterious new neighbor, Sarah’s nerves are set on edge. Chris disappears in the night into the forest behind their house, and Sarah discovers an ominous, gaping sinkhole while searching for him. Though he returns, some disturbing behavioral changes emerge, and Sarah begins to worry that the boy who came back is not her son.

 

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I drew a parallel to The Hallow (2015) and The Hole in the Ground in a post from a few weeks back, and this new trailer strengthens that connection. If I had to guess, the fairy folk that are so feared in Ireland have something to do with Chris’s strange behavior. After all, they are infamous for stealing children and replacing them with a copy who seems more than a little strange.

A Hole in the Ground will star Seana Kerslake (A Date for Mad Mary) as Sarah and James Quinn Markey (Vikings) as her son, Chris. The film will also feature James Cosmo (Outlaw King) and Kati Outinen (The Man Without a Past).

The Hole in the Ground comes to DirecTV Cinema on January 31st, and will be released in theatres on March 1st. What do you think of A24’s newest foray into horror? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!