Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Pit (1981)

One of the strangest and quirkiest horror movies that I've seen in some time, The Pit is a curio well worth seeking out if you're a fan of the bizarre.

Directed by Lew Lehman, and written by Ian A. Stuart, it's all about a young boy (Jamie, played by Sammy Snyders) who's a bit strange. Well, he may be a bit strange or he may just be reacting to how people treat him. When he finds a pit in the middle of some local woods he also finds some monsters at the bottom of it. Monsters that eat people. With the carefree manner of a child, Jamie decides to solve his problems by dropping them . . . . . . . . down the pit.

In many ways this movie feels quite dated, but that doesn't matter when the end result is so strange and strangely special (I enjoyed the movie but I know of a few folk who love it). I'd even have to say that the movie seems to revel in willingly defying/breaking conventions, something else which adds to its appeal.

The central premise is, of course, dressed up to feel quite different from anything else you could think of comparing it to. It's not actually any different from so many other movies in which a character finds a way (natural or unnatural) to exact some revenge, but the tone straddling standard horror fare and awkward coming-of-age stuff makes it seem that way.

Snyders is a lot of fun in the main role, playing someone quite easy to dislike. Jamie is supposed to be twelve years old, but he never acts that age. Sometimes he acts much younger than his years, other times he acts much older. Jeannie Elias is okay, though stuck with a role that's not as much fun, playing a babysitter who tries to connect with Jamie even as he continually pushes at the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Laura Hollingsworth is the other person worth noting, playing a librarian who resents young Jamie's behaviour but also has her own issues bubbling just below the surface (or, at least, that's how it seemed to me).

The Pit is definitely worth a watch. Whether you'll end up enjoying it or not will probably depend on how you react to the warped humour of the whole thing. I'm now a fan, but most people know how warped my own sense of humour can be anyway.



  1. Replies
    1. Not as far as I'm aware, Rondal, but it would make for a fun companion piece.