ABANDONED MINE (2013)
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When Will They Ever Learn?
Favorite Movie Quote: "Everything's gonna be fine"
A hundred years ago, on Full Moon Halloween night, Old Man Jarvis and his two young daughters were brutally murdered in a gold mine by the evil California Conglomerate just as they had struck the biggest lode the mine had ever produced. The daughters were mercilessly violated, and the three were buried alive in the mine. To this day, they say the mine is haunted.
Fast Forward to the present, and five school friends, Brad (Reiley McClendon), the leader, Jim (Adam Hendershott), the jock, Laurie (Saige Thompson), Brad's ex-girlfriend, Sharon (Alexa Vega, SPY KIDS) Brad new interest, and Laurie's new boyfriend, an Eastern Indian who prefers to be called Ethan, because his real name is too hard to pronounce (but that did not stop the boys from trying - miserably), pack up their video equipment and camping gear to have "the Mother of all Halloween parties" at - you guessed it - the old abandoned Jarvis Mine. What follows is what is always to be expected when a bad idea is executed (careful choice of words).
In the History of Horror Movies, any premise that starts off with "five friends in search of adventure" has never ended well. ABANDONED MINE, from the pen and eye of Jeff Chamberlain (from a story by Scott Woldman) is presented as Exhibit #1. Following Brad's lead, the five are persuaded that they will not actually enter the mine, knowing its history of townspeople dying and disappearing over the years, people they have actually known; but we all know how that always turn out. The film runs slow for the first third, establishing the characters and the pecking order, then picks up to high gear afterward. One of the inventions in the story is that Laurie is part Native American, so one of the secret jokes is that the Western Indian is dating the Eastern Indian. And of course Jim the dullard never comprehends the difference between East and West.
The tight cast work well with each other, in the claustrophobic confines of the mine, which adds to the tension. What will work better when it is shown in theaters is the use of darkness in the film. Everyone knows that when put in the dark, your imagination concocts more terrible horrors than any CG or practical effects editor could ever devise. It is our loss that this will not be shown in theaters, where the scares will be healthy and real. As for the climax, the twist is so shocking, that it is the suggestion of this reviewer to not reveal the last twenty minutes of the film. Seriously, DO NOT REVEAL THE LAST TWENTY MINUTES OF THE FILM!
On my personal rating scale of with '5' being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and '0' being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a '4.25,' using my Patented Bell Curve for Independent Horror Films. ABANDONED MINE is the perfect family horror movie. It is genuinely scary, and it has acceptable amounts of gore so as to not give the tiny tots nightmares for the rest of their lives, though they may shy away from the Indiana Jones Mine Ride at Disney from now on.
The film is rated PG-13 for violence and some scary images. It's safe for the kids and will make a perfect date movie for your Halloween movie marathon. Even though once the ending is revealed, this reviewer is still calling this a "BUY," because at a horror marathon at your home, you will love to see the reactions of your guest when it is revealed.
ABANDONED MINE will be in theaters August 15th.
But, seriously, DO NOT REVEAL THE LAST TWENTY MINUTES OF THE FILM!
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