Ah, Joe Dante!
When the likes of "The Guardian" and "Sight and Sound" draw up their list of greatest directors of all time you can be sure that Dante will not feature...hell, he probably wouldn't make it onto the same list in "Empire" despite its more populist aproach.
But, dear, dear, loyal reader let me just remind you that Dante is the man who brought us;
"The Howling" which, despite the hideous clutch of sequels, was a cracking werewolf movie and came ahead of the more lauded "American Werewolf in London".
"Gremlins" which is one of the best ever Christmas films.
"Explorers" which is a brilliant kids movie.
"Innerspace" which is just a brilliant movie.
"The 'Burbs" which is a dark, twisted and hilarious film.
The criminally under-rated "Matinee" which told a fabulous story of film in a time when special effects took place in the cinema and not on the screen.
That's not a bad roll call of movies and the one thing they all have in common is that they are entertaining...never dull, never pretentious, never anything other than tight, clear, precise movies that tell their stories, feature great perfomances and show that Dante is one of the best.
"The Hole" is the best 3-D film I've seen (yes, it's better than you know what) and as someone who is unconvinced by the 3-D argument that is high praise on its own. For once 3-D adds rather than distracts.
When two teenage boys stumble across a hole in their basement it isn't long before all Hell, literally, breaks loose! A creepy clown (easily as sinsiter as Pennywise!), a dead little girl and all sorts of other gruesomeness start tormenting the boys and forcing them to face up to their own fears.
This is an old-fashioned, retro slice of film making that left me feeling really glad that Dante was BACK.
Go and look in the hole...you won't be disappointed.