A group of young men wears hoodies and striking black-and-white face paint with trees behind them
Image Credit: ‘The Hole In The Fence,’ Altered Innocence

For some, just the mere mention of summer camp brings back warm memories from a formative time in our lives. For others… not so much.

In the new psychological drama The Hole In The Fence, Mexican filmmaker Joaquin del Paso mines the dark side of summer camp, framing a particular religious all-boys retreat as a breeding ground for hate, homophobia, and toxic masculinity.

Supposedly based on real events, the film takes audiences to Los Pinos, an elite camp in the Mexican countryside where wealthy families send their sons for “physical, moral, and religious training” meant to shape them into high-achieving young men.

From the jump, there’s an eerie vibe to Los Pinos (aided by the film’s sparse, electronic score from Stranger Things composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein), which is run by enigmatic adults who hold the kids to a strict code of moral conservatism and ominously warn them from stepping outside the bounds of camp.

A wide view of a summer camp in rural Mexico, where a group of men are gathered in a circular seating area
Image Credit: ‘The Hole In The Fence,’ Altered Innocence

But things get stranger still when a mysterious hole appears in Los Pinos’ chainlink perimeter fence, causing panic that someone—or something—has broken in.

While The Hole In The Fence unfolds like a horror movie, it’s clear the real monster is what’s been inside the camp all along. Stoked by fear and goaded on by traditionalist counselors, things quickly devolve into a Lord Of The Flies scenario, as the boys turn on each other, terrorizing fellow campers who they suspect to be gay, or who come from less well-to-do families.

Working with a cast of non-professional actors, Del Paso holds no punches, taking on the way a conservative, patriarchal society breeds toxic masculinity in our youth. You want to talk about grooming? Well, this is what we should be worried about.

After premiering at the Venice International Film Festival in 2021, The Hole In The Fence has been shocking audiences at fests all across the globe. Now, it’s set to make its U.S. premiere on May 26 with a theatrical run in Los Angeles, and more dates/cities to come.

You can watch the new U.S. trailer for the film below:

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