For all those with unforgettable summer camp stories from their day, there’s a good chance your memories don’t measure up to the mental meltdown endured by the little ones in the critically acclaimed movie. The hole in the fence. Set in Mexico, the psychological drama centers around a respected religious school for boys, who are sent each year to a summer camp in the picturesque countryside.

What is supposed to happen is that the boys strengthen themselves on a physical, moral and spiritual level during their stay in the camp. But during one session in particular, they discover a “hole in the fence” that surrounds the camp, which sends their minds into a vicious cycle. Are they in danger? Is there something teachers and priests don’t tell them? Does the town outside the camp have anything to do with this? Is there a monster lurking in it?

We recently met with the director Joaquin Del Paso and co-writer Lucy Paflak To learn more about their twisted story of the squabbled kids at a mysterious summer camp, where evil in one form or another lurks…

An outrageous kind of manipulation

When it works, it works. Once the writing team starts to come together, they are not to be stopped. It is not surprising, then, that The hole in the fence Not the first collaboration between Del Paso and Pawlack. “We wrote my first feature called Pan American machinesDel Paso told us. And then, as we were finishing the movie, I told Lucy about an anecdote that happened to me during high school, about a school camp where I did one year in a seminary, a little bit like the one in the movie. And Lucy told the story where they really scared us with some kind of paranormal situation that was going on in the camp.”

Related: The Hole in the Fence Review: A Disturbing Exposition of the Dangers of Forced Debt

From there, the idea for their latest collaboration was born. Pawlak continued how it all began with this latest project: “When he suggested working on this, another multi-character film with a progression into a really brutal kind of manipulation, I was thrilled to have the chance to create that world with him. And I thought it was a jumping off point.” Interesting and cosmopolitan, and at the same time very relevant to Mexico, and this idea of ​​a kind of summer camp that had this kind of psychological manipulation and critique of education structures in Mexico for the elite, yeah, it seemed like a great adventure.”

The hole in the fence

Amondo Movies
Carcava Cinema

“In a way, I wanted the title to be really clear, so that it wouldn’t hide an important plot element,” Del Paso continued. “It was planned that the discovery of the ‘hole’ in the script would happen very early in the story…and then you’d still have the whole movie ahead of you.”

“Joaquin is a master at coming up with titles,” Pavlak added. “I love the fact that the hole, within the entire narrative arc, changes from something that is a narrative device that teachers also use to indicate that something has happened. [into the camp], but at the same time, in the end, he is also the potential director. And so it has all these many purposes and it probably never does any of the things we hope it does.”

M. Nate Shyamalan the village It is just one of the movies that comes to mind when watching The hole in the fence. The psychological and horror elements certainly echo other classics, too. “One of the films we saw while writing the script was battle royaleDel Paso said. “I’ve kind of been thinking about the movie lately and how it’s a little bit nonsensical in a way, but it builds up so violently. And it wasn’t like we were meant to do something like that, but that was one of the movies we saw that I think had a impact “.

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Robin Ostlund and future projects

The Boys in the Hole in the Fence (2021)
Amondo Movies
Carcava Cinema

Pawlak also noted the influence of another award-winning director on the public feel of The hole in the fence: my darling was Robin Ostlund, director force majeure And Square. We watched He playsPawlak said regarding recalling the famous director’s previous work. “I think too , [we looked at] Just the general narrative arc of many thrillers in order to look at how those films affect the audience, and then how teachers can deploy something similar in their own live action role-playing game, “something got into camp”.

Pawlak then notes some literary influences:

We also read a little. There is a book called The missing boys. lord of the flies It was another one. But in The missing boysLike all of Stanley Milgram’s projects in the 1970s, it is an investigation into psychological details of psychological experiments on people. There were a lot of summer camps that were like fake summer camps, where they were investigating and testing how kids would respond to certain things in order to test for cruelty, because everyone was so obsessed with the possibility of cruelty that we knew WWII and what. “

latest ostlund movies, Sadness triangle, won the coveted Palme D’Or at Cannes and earned an Oscar nod for Best Picture. But both Pawlak and del Paso couldn’t sing enough praises for his former groundbreaking project. “I think A He plays It was great because I think it’s a great movie about the nature of just youth and how social groups, even when they’re small, can antagonize each other,” said del Paso, which was directed by Ruben Ostlund. This book was a huge inspiration method, This kind of crazy like life guide and how to basically become a tough guy in a way. It’s a very interesting book.”

Looking ahead, it seems the two are busier than ever with future projects. “I’m working on a project about appropriating Aboriginal practices for the likes of selling fancy foods and whatnot,” Pawlack said. “It’s been a lot of fun developing this White lotus, sadness triangle-He writes [project] relating to all the horrors of that region.”

“I have another movie coming up that I’m shooting at the end of the year, and this one is very different,” said Del Paso. “It’s a drama, not an ensemble movie. It’s a four-character movie. It’s about immigration and also about the destruction of the Mexican forest.”

From Amondo Films and Cárcava Cine, The hole in the fence Now available for streaming.


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