The Hole In The Ground: A great example of Irish Folk Horror with chilling versions of two songs which I'll never be able to regard in a humorous light again - There was an old woman And she lived in the wood (Weila Weila Waila) and The Rattling Bog. The hole in the ground is discovered in a wood by Sarah (Seána Kerlake) when she is searching for her son Chris (James Markey). It is a vast pi, too big to really exist and signifies something else, later we see Sarah sinking into the ground itself as she nears the supposed location of the pit. Chris starts to act oddly after this incident and they both meet The Old Woman Of The Wood, Norreen, (Kati Outinen) who roams the roads in search of her son, killed by her in an accident decades ago. Noreen believes that the boy she killed was a changeling, as is Chris.
Chris continues to behave strangely and Sarah begins to suspect that he may in fact be a changeling but she is also conscious of the stress she suffers and the effects of an old head injury. What is real and what are hallucinations start to blur as life becomes increasingly surreal for Sarah as she feels alienated in this new (for her and Chris) rural community. Is she becoming another woman who lives in the woods?
From the outset the woods ooze a feeling of otherness, a road into them seems rather to be a narrow trail into a vast primeval forest making clever use of drone cameras. On the ground the woods in day or night easily instil a sense of dread, easily leading to existential panic at the slightest odd occurrence. Locals know of the changeling legend, even at some levels accept it as a reality but will not openly acknowledge it as a fact. This is perhaps best illustrated by Des (James Cosmo), Noreen's husband.
A worthy addition to the Irish Folk Horror Film Canon by Director (and co-writer) Lee Cronin. 8.5/10.