Pascual Sisto and Nicolas Giacobone are the minds behind the 2021 American coming-of-age psychological thriller John and the Hole.
Actors including Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, and Jennifer Ehle star in this feature-length adaptation of Giacobone’s short story El Pozo. An unfinished bunker in the woods near his home is the focus of the film.
As of January 29, 2021, it has been selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2020 and the Sundance Film Festival in 2021. An IFC Films release of the film was scheduled for August 6th, 2021.
John Discovers an Unfinished Bunker
After John Charlie Shotwell loses his drone in the jungle, the movie begins. While attempting to retrieve his drone, he is injured when he is thrown from a tree and sustains cuts to his hands and legs.
His mother’s medicine cabinet contains a pill that makes him sleepy. As a practice runs for his upcoming experiment, John administers this newly discovered pill to their gardener.
After the gardener passes out on the floor, the experiment has deemed a success. That night, he manages to get his father to take a pill. A wheelbarrow is used to transport his father to the bunker.
While a young Lilly is engaged in an odd conversation with her mother, the scene is abruptly cut away. She expects her mother to tell her the tale of John and the hole sometime in the near future.
Opening credits appear after 30 minutes, suggesting that Lilly’s mother may narrate the majority of the story.
John’s Family Gets Trapped in A Bunker
All three members of the Bunker family John’s sister Laurie, his mother Anna, and Brad, his father wake up in the bunker the next day. They all begin to scream and freak out, but no one can hear them because of the noise.
He calls the gardener pretending to be his mother to inform him that he is no longer needed. When Gloria Georgia Lyman visits Gloria’s mother, he tells her that his grandfather has been put into an induced coma and that all of his family has gone to visit.
After driving the car to the ATM, John brings his family food and water back to their home. A ladder is requested by the parents while Laurie realizes that John is the one who brought them here.
His parents’ questions go unanswered by John. A few days later, John brings some new clothes to the family. They try to talk to him, but he doesn’t respond or engage in conversation.
John Understands the Complications of Adulthood
Over the weekend, John hosts a friend at his place. They engage in an odd game in which they attempt to drown themselves. For his friend’s sake, the man later hands over some money from the ATM.
However, the friend refuses to spend any more time with John after accepting the money. To add to the commotion, Paula Tamara Hickey stops by to see how John is doing. John starts off by asking her how it feels to be 50 years old.
He encourages her to spend the night with him to avoid being lonely. She refuses and calls the police. When the police show up, John manages to get away from them, and they don’t even go into the house to check on him.
Who Is Lilly?
Lilly and her mother’s identities and relationships with John are mysteriously absent from the film. It is revealed that Lilly’s mother may have embellished a story about John for Lilly’s benefit.
Fans have proposed a different explanation for these bizarre sequences, positing that they represent Lily’s denial of her parent’s deaths. As an adult, she is incapable of dealing with the death of her mother, despite the fact that she is played as a child.
When her mother gives her money, it’s symbolic of an inheritance, and the stories Lily makes up could be her final attempt to reconnect with her inner child and her dying mother’s final wish.
This also explains why the police didn’t bother to enter the house and conduct an investigation.
No fan theory is a certainty. The film’s ambiguous conclusion, on the other hand, leaves plenty of room for interpretation.
The film has been screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020, but critics and viewers have not been wowed by it. The physical acting of Charlie Shotwell as John adds some life to the film.
Those who enjoy psychological thrillers will find this film enjoyable but it does not promise light or wholesome material.
John Rescues His Family
Once inside, Anna reveals that John asked her what it means to be an adult, revealing that his entire endeavors are an attempt to live the adult life.
Lily’s mother tells her that she’s leaving and that she’ll have money for 10 months, which Lily accepts.
At 15, her grandmother became pregnant and Lilly can do the same, she tells Lilly.