Reviews

Review: Abandoned Mine

The creators of Abandoned Mine got creative with the title. It is a movie about…an abandoned mine. A group of students set out to explore an abandoned mine on Halloween and soon start dying.

The way that the footage is strung together is a little bit distracting. There are ‘found footage’ style clips interspersed in the conventional shots and some POV shots thrown in, as well. The variation of camerawork didn’t add anything the finished product, but it did annoy me.

There are some slightly offensive remarks towards Indian Americans in the film. I was actually surprised at what I was hearing when one of the characters intentionally repeatedly mispronounced the Indian American character’s name.

The acting starts out as bearable but not entirely convincing; as the film progresses, the acting gets worse. The performances become more and more ludicrous, leading up to the point where they were completely laughable.

All of the character stereotypes are there: the douchebag jock, the outsider, the levelheaded chaste girl, the brain-dead meathead, and the sexually generous dumb girl. The problem is that none of them have any redeeming qualities.

A lot of stupid things happened in Abandoned Mine, but I have to say that the cake was taken when a character bit the head off a rat in what I can only assume to be a completely non-ironic way. The whole scene just looked desperate and completely out of place.

The setup is similar to films like My Bloody ValentineThe Descent and Catacombs. There really isn’t any new ground broken here. Nearly every frame is something we have seen before and in most cases we have seen it done better. It felt like every other containment horror film I have ever seen.

The “twist” was so predictably stupid that I wanted to gouge my eyes out to make it go away. Without giving too much away, it is a twist that we have seen countless times, but this time, it was so blatantly obvious what “the twist” is a struggle to even call a twist. I feel like it should be referred to as an inevitable – that is certainly a more fitting description. Maybe if Abandoned Mine was the first movie you had ever watched you would find the twist unexpected and riveting, but for anyone who has ever watched a film or even a single episode of any television series, it is painstakingly obvious. It made me feel incredibly cheated, films with a legitimate twist should leave the audience feeling excited and like they’ve had the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes. That certainly was not the case here.

There is something to be said for understated gore effects, but the effects in this film seemed to be less about conscious restraint than budget restrictions, and that’s not really an excuse seeing as how crafty filmmakers are turning out epic effects on shoestring budgets.

In the plus column, Abandoned Mine didn’t waste time on a lot of lengthy exposition. The pertinent details were revealed by way of a series of news articles in a matter of seconds during the opening credits. That prevented the need for the obligatory telling of the legend of the abandoned mine.

The pace picks up a little bit in the last thirty minutes, but by then it’s too late. We don’t like the cast, so what do we care if they get chased around and killed in an abandoned mine?

Abandoned Mine is currently available via VOD and enjoying a limited theatrical release. If you are desperate, you can check it out, but you mustn’t say I didn’t warn you.


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