Give your movie a generic title and you’re just asking to be ridiculed. To avoid that, your movie had better be good. Unfortunately, Abandoned Mine is as generic and dull as its title. Much like the recent Stranded, you wonder why people even bothered to make it. There’s no creativity on display, nothing whatsoever to suggest that someone was truly passionate about the project and the material. It plods along for 95 minutes, and you struggle to remember much as soon as the end credits start to roll.
If you haven’t guessed, an abandoned mine is involved here. It’s known as the William Jarvis Mine and is allegedly haunted. 100 years ago greedy executives at a large mining company murdered Jarvis and his entire family. Jarvis and his daughters were buried alive in the mine. People say they haunt the mine and will not stop until the spirits of the girls are set free.
In the present, Brad (Reiley McClendon) has planned a Halloween party at the mine. Tagging along are his girlfriend Sharon (Alexa Vega), ex-girlfriend Laurie (Saige Thompson), best friend Jimmy (Adam Hendershott), and Laurie’s friend Ethan (Charan Prabhakar). Apparently a technical whiz with unlimited resources, Brad has provided everyone with a mining helmet equipped with a high-end camera so they can record everything and maybe “make a movie.”
Brad is the only one who wants to go into the mine, so once they get there the group just sits around a fire, telling stories. But of course it starts to rain, and Brad is able to convince everyone to wait it out in the mine. This leads to a little bit of exploring, and then the trouble starts. Music starts playing on its own, and a rope is burned and severed. The group needs to find another way out. As they make their way through the mine, there are signs that it is indeed haunted.
And then, nothing.
They walk around the mine and bicker about how best to find a way out. This goes on for what feels like forever. The viewer, with increasing impatience and annoyance, waits for something to happen. But they just keep walking around, getting lost and getting scared from time to time, before pushing on deeper into the mine. Nothing remotely interesting or unexpected ever happens. Not for a second is the reality of the situation ever in doubt.
The boredom isn’t helped by the fact that the majority of the characters are detestable. Brad and Jimmy repeatedly and mercilessly mock the Indian Ethan. They are reprehensible morons. Sharon is constantly shrieking about spiders and spirits. Laurie ends up going bonkers. You won’t much care if anyone but Ethan makes it out of the mine. The only relief comes from frequent unintentional humor.
There’s a montage with the girls trying on clothes that’s set to a cheesy pop song and feels like it’s out of a completely different movie. We are also treated to some real howlers like Brad saying “you don’t negotiate with terrorists” in reference to the possibility that Jarvis really is haunting the mine. Later, Laurie declares that “we’re in something and it’s alive,” claiming that her knowledge of human anatomy has led her to believe that the mine is a living thing.
There are not nearly enough of those moments to redeem Abandoned Mine though. It’s not so-bad-it’s-good, just bad.