THE HILL AND THE HOLE (2018) Reviews and overview

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 ‘A weird tale of the Southwest’

The Hill and the Hole is a 2018 American science-fiction horror feature film about an archaeologist who discovers a strange mound on an old ranch.

Directed by Bill Darmon and Christopher Ernst from a screenplay by the former, based on the short story by Fritz Leiber (Conjure Wife), the Bright Rectangle Films production stars Liam Kelly, Adam Gorightly, Kristen Brody and Brandt Adams.


Working one last job for the Bureau of Land Management, archaeologist Tom Digby (Liam Kelly) finds himself confronted with a strange man-made hill on an old ranch in a remote corner of New Mexico. After being brutally attacked by the ranch’s owner and posse, Tomescapes the ranch and hill’s mysterious power- only to be trapped in the surrounding town.

The problem is, Tom Digby cannot stop digging. And the town and its bizarre residents keep drawing him into the hill’s larger conspiracy- with a retired Bureau agent at its core. Tom learns that he might be the latest in a series of land surveyors destined to vanish on the ranch and hill- and that might be the least of his worries…


“Visually, The Hill and the Hole is a gorgeous slice of oddball Americana, capturing a fever dream where everything is ordinary, but the closer you look, out of the ordinary. Everything, that is, except for the mostly amateurish acting that, at times, can lead to more wincing than wonderment. Still, this low-budget flick is an idiosyncratic and incongruous sojourn to the deepest recesses — literally — of a perplexing pile of dirt, a brain-boiler that will leave far more questions than answers…” Flick Attack

The Hill and the Hole is shot really well and the sharp colour schemes of the more ‘trippy’ moments looks great. Although the less said about the CGI, the better. This is one of those films where different people will get totally different things out of it. For everyone who loves it, there will be others who absolutely hate.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

“The Fortean mysteries are akin to the cryptozoological conundrums from the archives The X-Files or In Search Of, but whereas these shows play to a mass audience, The Hill and the Hole plays to a more narrow group of crypto-fans who like a deep dive into cosmic conspiracies. The acting can be stiff at times. This is the first feature film for both Kelly and Gorightly, and it shows.” The Scariest Things

“Knowingly arcane, with a wink in its eye, and steeped in UFO lore and occult esotericism, this low budget sci-fi excursion feels influenced equally by David Lynch, Wim Wenders (particularly in its use of wide-open American spaces) and Michael Laughlin, with traces of his 1981 Strange Behavior […] the gonzo narrative, courtesy of the imaginative Darmon, who scripted, keeps us consistently involved.” Southern on Film


The Hill and the Hole is available free to watch on Amazon Prime in the UK and USA

Cast and characters:

Liam Kelly … Tom Digby
Adam Gorightly … Roger Person
Kristen Brody … Layne Mead
Brandt Adams … Gabriel
Ricardo Burgos … Joel
Matthew O’Donnell … Michael
Xochi Harrop … Little Girl
William McLane … Zeke
Tim Binnall … Tiny
Chris Dunlop … Ben Shelley
Loren Coleman … TBC

Technical details:

80 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.66:1


In a November 2017 article in by actor Adam Gorightly, he states that the film was shot in late July and early August of that year and was in post-production at the time of writing.

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