John and the Hole is a confusing film to watch, even by standards of film critics. John and the Hole debuted at Sundance Film Festival 2021, a few days ago. This film managed to polarise a lot of viewers, which is usually a sign that it's a complication piece of cinema. Read more to find out what really happened in John and the Hole.
John (played by child actor Charlie Shotwell) lives in a large house with his family in the woods. It is implied in the films that Jon is a coddled teenager, who has never been taught any discipline by his parents. He believes his actions have no consequences and so he does what he wants. At the beginning of the film, John discovers an abandoned underground bunker which ends up becoming a major plot point for the film.
One day John finds his family asleep and being the sociopath he is he drugs them into unconsciousness. Once making sure his family is out cold, he drags them out and puts them inside the bunker, locking them from the outside. There's no real explanation given for this, except that he has no concept of consequences and doesn't realise the gravity of the crime he is committing. When his family wakes up, they beg him to let them out, but John just drops them food and water and roams away.
Now that he's free he wants to live life his own way and do things that grown-up people do. This film is a coming-of-age story disguised a smart thriller. He lies to people about the whereabouts of his family, telling them they are out of town. John just resumes living his life as usual, with the exception of having the ability to do what he wants.
He invites one of his friends over and the film takes a dark turn here. In trying to play a weird psychopathic game, John and his friend try to drown each other as a joke. John almost ends up killing his friend in this 'game'. In the end, however, he comes to the realisation that what he's doing is wrong and if continues on this path, things would get progressively worse. The director has left the ending open-ended for the audience to interpret. You can watch the film and make up your own mind on what this film's ending meant to you.
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