COUPLE IN A HOLE is a truly strange and transfixing film from writer-director Tom Geens. It opens with a Scottish couple living in the woods, apparently more by choice of the wife than the husband. He catches the food, they can only bathe in rainwater and she barely leaves the cave that they live in. When he goes to the village to get medicine for her spider bite she becomes nervous and suspicious. Apparently this isolation is strongly her choice. I don't want to say more for fear of spoiling the film, but what we come to realise is that this film can be read as an elaborate metaphor for a certain emotion, but also as a conventional thriller. As the mechanics of the motivations of the main characters become clear, the film draws to a surprising and tense conclusion that allows it to work on its own terms as a thriller. This is helped by strong performances from the small cast but also an ethereal electronic score. This is not a conventional film - and it's not always an easy watch - but it's powerful, moving and beautifully put together.
COUPLE IN A HOLE has a running time of 105 minutes and is rated 12 for infrequent strong language and animal butchery. The movie played Toronto 2015 and opened this weekend in France and the UK, where it is also available on streaming services.
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