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SYFY WIRE Sundance

A24's Sundance horror selection, The Hole in the Ground, digs up scary kids in first trailer

By Josh Weiss
The Hole in the Ground Seána Kerslake

An upcoming film from Ireland may end up being one of the scariest horror movies of the year. That'd be The Hole in the Ground from director Lee Cronin (Minutes Past Midnight), who co-wrote the screenplay with Stephen Shields (Zombie Bashers).

Selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, the film will be distributed by A24 (the same group behind the terrifying Hereditary). The trailer scored an initial release today, courtesy of Empire Magazine. According to reports back in December, A24 leadership described the movie as  a “remarkable debut film, weaving suspense, terror, and supernatural folklore into a richly evocative story about the primal fears of motherhood."

The plot revolves around a young mother (Seána Kerslake), whose son (James Quinn Markey) begins to act strangely after disappearing into a thicket that contains a gaping hole in the earth. As the story progresses, the mother begins to question if it's really her son, or merely an evil impsoter. 

Where does the hole lead? To Hell? An alternate dimension of wicked doppelgangers? A planet of shapeshifting aliens a la The Thing? The answers won't come easy.

Here's the trailer, which promises as much style as it does horror:

While the cast isn't made up of instantly-recognizable A-listers, astute television fans will still recognize the likes of Eoin Macken (Karl D'Branin on SYFY's Nightflyers), James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont on HBO's Game of Thrones), Simone Kirby (Irene O'Donnell on Netflix's Peaky Blinders), and Steve Wall (Einar on History Channel's Vikings).

“It’s a privilege to bring The Hole in the Ground to the Sundance Film Festival for its World Premiere this January," Cronin told IFTN in December. "A hell of a lot of extremely talented people worked tirelessly to make the movie a reality, so I’m delighted that its creators, funders and supporters can celebrate the perfect launch-pad in Utah. Personally, I’m excited to bring my horror story to the big screen, and I can’t wait for Irish audiences to see it when it’s released in cinemas in the New Year."

The Hole in the Ground will debut at Sundance January 25 before hitting DirectTV on January 31. It will receive a limited theatrical release March 1.