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Abandoned Mine (2013): October Fools’ Day

Abandoned Mine (Jeff Chamberlain, 2013)

The mouth of the abandoned mine is made to look demonic through creative lighting on the movie poster.

Come in here dear boy, have a cigar. You’re gonna go far.
photo credit: shocktillyoudrop.com

Abandoned Mine started off with a bang—there are some nifty filmmaking techniques that make it seem like you’re going to get something much more than you are from this low-budget horrorfest. For some reason, however, Chamberlain abandons the pretense to the avant-garde once things get rolling, and we end up with a straightforward haunted-mine tale, mediocre but watchable.

One character carries another to a decent resting spot in a still from the film.

“Not only is this not the threshold I had in mind, but you really weren’t the person, either. Sorry.”
photo credit: hollywoodreporter.com

Plot: Brad (Pearl Harbor‘s Reiley McClendon) is a post-high-school layabout in a small rural town, bored out of his skull. His ex-girlfriend Laurie (Reservations‘ Saige Thompson) is back in town, so he cooks up an idea—the two of them, Brad’s current girlfriend Sharon (Spy Kids‘ Alexa PenaVega), Laurie’s schoolmate Ethan (High School Musical 2‘s Charan Prabhakar), and Brad’s best friend Jim (Radio Flyer‘s Adam Hendershott), will spend the night near the mouth of the legendary Jarvis Mine, supposedly haunted by the family of the Jarvis that the mine is named for. A thunderstorm drives them inside, and weird things start happening…

The group sit and talk about their predicament in a still from the film.

“And now for the ritual singing of ‘Kum Ba Ya.'”
photo credit: Youtube

Unfortunately, none of those weird things are terribly unpredictable; you should be on the right track relatively soon, and from there, aside from some appealing ambiguity as to what’s really going on with one of the characters, it unfolds in paint-by-numbers fashion. This has a surprisingly high-powered cast for such a shoestring affair, and despite being stereotypes, the characters are at least affable (I waffled the whole movie on whether Ethan was offensive or the best character in the entire movie). I’ve seen far worse movies this year, but I’ve seen far better as well. **

 


Trailer.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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