‘John and the Hole’ Review: A Chilly Psychodrama That Imagines ‘Home Alone’ As a Horror Movie [Sundance 2021]
Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 by Hoai-Tran Bui
Every now and again, some internet smart aleck will cut a trailer for a beloved comedy classic that imagines that film as a horror movie. Mrs. Doubtfire, Shrek, Ross from Friends, what have you — they all turn into the psychopathic killers given the right editing choices and a creepy enough musical score. But the most popular victim (or villain, depending on your reading) is Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, whose cartoonish antics strike fear in the hearts of people who think about their real ramifications.
Of course, the chilling psychological thriller John and the Hole is more than just a cobbled-together internet video. The feature directorial debut of Pascual Sisto, penned by Oscar-winning writer Nicolás Giacobone (Birdman), John and the Hole is a harrowing deep dive into pre-adolescent ennui, that is closer to the empty cruelty of Yorgos Lanthimos. It only maintains a surface-level similarity to the premise of Home Alone — a young boy who is left to his own devices, only here, the boy, John (a chilling Charlie Shotwell) is the one who is holding is family captive in a misguided attempt to understand his own burgeoning pubescence.