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This is a low-budget British thriller which is more than a little reminiscent of Blair Witch Project insofar it is a low-budget film about a small group of teenagers trapped together. However, it is based on a novel called After The Hole. As that title implies, the main action takes place in flashback sequences. Although the film's trailer implies it is a stereotypical teenager/slasher-flick it is actually more of a psychological thriller. The film starts when a disheveled teenage girl [ Thora Birch ] appears and phones for help. Once in medical care she retells her story to a psychiatrist [ Embeth Davidtz ]. This is similar to the start of a 1970s British horror film named Tower of Doom or some such.
The story is about a group of teenagers [from a UK Public School that seems more like the stereotypical US one in Clueless] who have a party in an underground bunker and get locked in. Ms Birch gives her version of events, where everyone is a goody-goody and remains remarkably calm. She blames her school-friend, the geeky Martin [Daniel Brocklebank, who played Young Merlin in the TV mini-series Merlin].
However, although Thora is too good to be true Martin is a prime suspect. He is intelligent, wears spectacles and the girls don't want to have sex with him.
As the film progresses we get to see what actually happened down the hole. The question is not so much who survived? but rather what happened - and who was responsible?.
The other brats who go down the Hole include Keira Knightley [the handmaiden Sabé in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ] and Desmond Harrington [Aulon in Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The].
Like the film Apollo 13, this is based on true-life events that happened during the Apollo moon launches. However, the action does not happen in NASA's HQ or the rocket itself. No, it happens in a in a sheep paddock in Australia! The Dish of the title is the largest radio-telescope in the world, used by NASA to receive the television transmissions of Armstrong and Aldrin's historic moonwalk. This is the story of the men who made it possible.
Sam Neill heads up the cast, who are apparently a popular Australian television comedy crew. This is a light-hearted drama, funny in parts but not hilariously so. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, but not in a blatant slapstick way. Americans might miss the subtle humour of it, but it's worth watching even for the bits that aren't funny.
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