Since we were on a Joe Dante kick, we decided to watch The Hole (2009), his most recent feature. Since this is a horror film, I was nervous, but Ms. Spenser was psyched. As usual, I didn't have to worry.
It starts with two boys and their single mother moving into a new place. The older boy is a sullen withdrawn teen, the younger a cute grade-schooler who is afraid of clowns. The place seems nice, and a cute girl lives next door, but it seems there's this trapdoor in the basement. When they unlock the many padlocks and remove the stout beams holding it closed, they find... a hole.
The hole seems to have no bottom, and no features. But soon, strange things start appearing, and they are coming from the hole. The first is more silly than scary, 1980s TV horror show silly. The next is worse, and the final scare is "shit just got real" scary.
But --SPOILER!-- it all works out pretty much ok. So I'd say this movie is scary enough, but not nightmares for months scary. Just about the way I like it, It's got a bit of Joe Dante's humor, a Dick Miller cameo, and some interesting digital effects (it was made for 3D). It also handles the youths really well, which I guess is a bit of a Dante specialty, based on Matinee.
It seems that Joe Dante hasn't really made that many features. We're on our way to seeing them all.