‘John and the Hole’: Film Review | Sundance 2021Charlie Shotwell plays an intense teen who traps his family in a forest bunker in Pascual Sisto’s disturbing first feature, also starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Ehle and Taissa Farmiga.
Adapted by Argentinean writer Nicolás Giacobone (an Oscar winner for Birdman) from his short story The Well, the film introduces John (Shotwell) in math class, staring like a deer in the headlights as an unseen teacher asks a question to which he knows the correct answer.
As he coasts along the quiet road home on his skateboard in an upscale leafy suburb somewhere in Massachusetts, John looks like any normal awkward-age adolescent.
It’s when the drone gets stuck in a tree in the woods that John finds the bunker.
He makes John a fascinating blank, impassive but with roiling undercurrents beyond his understanding, leaving him only with darkest instinct.