John and the Hole

John and the Hole ★★

Well… This picture might take the record of the longest amount of time to display the movie’s title card. I thought Infinity War would hold the title for a while.

Anyway.

I’ll admit I have something against psychopath kids in film. I’ll state it again for the record, I’m against murderous children. There. Now that I have that off my chest I can address this specific film and why it didn’t work.

So there’s a boy named John and one day he decides to put his family down a hole… And that’s it. That’s the movie. OK, so more happens… But not really? I’m not sure what the point of this movie is. I understand that it’s a by design pretentious pretentious film with a unique premise targeted specifically for Sundance competition but it really has nothing to say. And how could it?

The problem with psycho children is that they make for perfect embodiment of evil. The Good Son? The Bad Seed? Why do they make mass murder and commit chaos? Because they’re psycho! They were born evil! And that’s all the explanation the audience needs. As a result the adolescent antagonists never need to self-reflect or even bask in their nefarious deeds.

Interestingly enough, the father in this picture is played by Michael C Hall the dude who played Dexter. Which was my favorite show for a while until it really, Really, REALLY shit the bed in its last season. Of course, Dexter was a different kind of mental case. Totally dead inside he still commits to performing acts of good by becoming a serial killer of other serial killers. I wonder if his casting was meant to be in any way a wink to the audience or if the filmmakers just figured he fit the part. He is far and away the best part of this miserable exercise.

No offense to Charlie Shotwell who plays the titular nutcase but I surmise that this role didn’t have to stretch his acting chops that much. I understand he was in Captain Fantastic which is apparently a much better movie. Oh, and he’ll be in Morbius which is a Marvel movie so I like him! (This actor was BORN in 2007 - Christ, I’m old).

Anyway.

What really sealed this movie’s fate for me was the ending - HATED IT. It’s a no from me dawg. Bad, bad, bad. And honestly, super unrealistic even for a movie whose premise is as wackadoo as this. Also, there was another subplot in this movie that made absolutely no fucking sense. And I mean, no sense. It’s such a non-sequitur I almost wonder if it’s an editing error or maybe I’m just oblivious as to what I’m supposed to be getting from it.

Despite this, I’m glad I saw it. I’ve never been to a “real” film festival but I anticipate you are going to encounter some duds. But there’s no reason to dwell on it… Onward!