John and the Hole

Director: Pascual Sisto Run Time: 98 min. Rating: R Release Year: 2021

Starring: Charlie Shotwell, Jennifer Ehle, Michael C. Hall, Taissa Farmiga

Country: United States
Language: English


The World Premiere screened at the Film Center on January 29, 2021 as part of the Sundance Film Festival 2021 satellite screenings in Columbus, Ohio.


“Ambiguously sinister… what is going on in this kid’s head?”

– Peter Debruge for Variety

About the film:

Official Selection of Cannes and Sundance Film Festival from visual artist and filmmaker Pascual Sisto and Birdman screenwriter Nicolás Giacobone.

13-year-old John discovers an unfinished bunker—a deep hole in the ground—while exploring the neighboring woods. Seemingly without provocation, he drugs his affluent parents and older sister, holding them captive within the bunker. As they anxiously wait for John to free them from the hole, the boy returns home, where he can finally enjoy and explore a newfound independence.

Exploring the difficult passage from childhood freedom to adult responsibility, John and the Hole is both a slow-burn psychological thriller and meditative coming-of-age fable, anchored by a chilling lead performance from Charlie Shotwell.

About the filmmakers:

Debut feature film for Spanish visual artist Pascual Sisto. Currently based in New York, his work has exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, including the Centre Pompidou, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, and the 53rd Venice Biennale. Sisto was named of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch for 2021.

For John in the Hole, he collaborated with Argentinean screenwriter and novelist Nicolás Giacobone—an Academy Award winner for Birdman (2014)—who adapted the screenplay from his short story “The Well.”

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Trailer