Joe Dante’s ‘The Hole’ Named Best 3-D Film Of The Year At Venice Film Festival

If you’ve seen either “Coraline” or Pixar’s “Up” in 3-D, you might have trouble believing there’s a better 3-D movie from this year. But apparently the latest from Joe Dante (“Gremlins”) is just that. “The Hole,” which currently has no U.S. distributor or release date, won the Venice Film Festival’s new Persol 3-D award after premiering at the festival this month.

So much for my earlier claim that “it’s really only down to ’Up’ and ’Coraline’ as serious contenders.” Even as a huge fan of Dante’s work — including the highly underrated “Small Soldiers” and “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” — I wasn’t expecting his new thriller, about a family that moves into a house with a bottomless hole in the basement, to feature better use of 3-D than those hit films.

Other titles Dante’s new film beat out include “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Experience.” And thankfully, it also kept “My Bloody Valentine” from being named a Venice Film Festival winner. Interestingly enough, James Cameron’s highly anticipated “Avatar,” expected to be a game-changer for the 3-D format, was not in competition.

Yet the way Venice describes “The Hole,” maybe this is the real savior of 3-D as something beyond gimmicky profit-booster. While “Avatar” is being sold as something that will be groundbreaking, Dante’s film was honored for “best representing the exploration of this new frontier of cinematic language.”

It is worth noting that “The Hole,” like “Avatar,” is live-action, and so far the only truly worthwhile 3-D films have been animated. This recognition therefore makes it even more significant, and I’m now even more excited to see it whenever it does open in America. Hopefully now that there’s this prestige and acclaim attached to “The Hole,” it won’t be long before it arrives in U.S. theaters.

Are you more intrigued about “The Hole” now that it has won an award over “Coraline” and “Up”?