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Thursday, 30 July 2009

Joe Dante is in The Hole

Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling) was at the San Diego Comic Con where he debuted a trailer for his latest feature The Hole in 3-D. It's his first film since Looney Tunes: Back in Action although he has done a couple of Masters of Horror episodes and a zombie-themed CSI:NY.

The Hole stars Teri Polo, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble and Quinn Lord. Written by Mark L. Smith (Vacancy), it concerns a family that moves into a new home. There they discover a hole in the basement that feeds off of their darkest fears and manifests them. It sounds a bit like a cross between The Gate, Sphere and Poltergeist. STYD managed to speak to the director about his new film.

"I read a lot of scripts, seldom do they strike me on a character level," says Dante. "This is not a big movie, it's a modest picture. I managed to convince them to do it in 3-D because I thought of the visuals and also the drama. It's not a gore-fest. It's more in the line of The Others or The Devil's Backbone. It's creepy and sneaks up on you, and it's not filled with eyeballs on sticks poking out at you in the third row. Not that there's anything wrong with that, that's just not what this is, there are plenty of those movies out there. So the idea was to try and make the kind of movie they stopped making in the '80s when you can take your family to a scary picture and they were not traumatized, they were scared."

I like the sound of the creepiness rather than all out gore.

Regarding the 3D technology Dante had this to say. "We found a way to do it that only added a modest amount to the budget an we went ahead and did it. I think it was a great idea. It's an unusual 3-D movie in the sense that it's not what you expect from a 3-D movie. It's still got all of the stuff - breaking the frame - but to me it's immersive. You feel a little more like you're in the room with the people and what their problems are. I think you find that in some of the current 3-D movie, the animated ones at least."

He also said shooting went smoothly and that his fans will "find this to be a Joe Dante movie. It has its silly aspects, of course, as I do. But it's pretty straight-forward, a character picture. The kids are very good. I have Bruce Dern. It's a small cast and not a lot of locations, but people who are movie fans will get a lot of the references."

The Hole is still in post-production and doesn't have a release date yet.

"The trick is to not repeat yourself, but then again, what is Small Soldiers but Gremlins 3, so you can't escape that stuff."

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