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TIFF 2021: “The Hole in the Fence”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

It takes men to understand what toxic masculinity is and how it may evolve if not stopped at the first sign. There are many movies that do not make you feel comfortable nor make you feel joyful. And that’s not because the movie is bad; but rather it’s dark and the real tone, once set, will make you feel disgusted.

“The Hole in the Fence” follows a group of privileged rich boys from a private school taken to the countryside somewhere in Mexico, to introduce them to God, the power of religion and goodness. However, soon it will become obvious that something bad is about to happen. And that threat comes both from inside and outside of the camp. Bullying, harassment and threats fill the movie and the only expectation you will have is when will this be over?

The movie is quite dark, unsettling and scary. It prepares us for the greatest danger, but the biggest danger in the film you will find are the rich boys who feel they’re in control. In reality, when they are outside of the dormitory, more or less, they can be checked. But once inside or far from their superiors, they are even capable of killing.

It’s not an ideal coming of age story you would like to watch. Director Joaquin del Paso cleverly unveils the dark side of a man that’s not born as an adult, but as a teenager, and if left unchecked, God knows what will happen when they grow up. It’s a scary movie to watch. The concept is terrifying but the director does not mind that nor feels empathy towards its characters. He gave a voice to bad people, shows us what they are capable of. And if there is any doubt about how the monster can grow inside one person, there is no need to go far, as “The Hole in the Fence” has plenty examples to show you.

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