Thursday, February 18, 2016

Abandoned Mine

High school friends who don't seem to like each other very much spend the night in a somewhat haunted mine in this scare-free horror film.

A guy wears a camera on his helmet, which means a film laden with tedious found footage. Then someone edits the found footage in an attempt to create some foreshadowing. Suddenly, one of the friends gets attacked by a knife-wielding masked figure, but instead of a gore-filled death scene, someone's nasty bottle of ketchup gets punctured. I might not know a whole lot about friends, but if I had a friend who thought it was funny to knock me down and stab a bottle of ketchup with a foot-long knife narrowly missing my face by inches and covering me with nasty ketchup, that friend would be punched in the face repeatedly and we certainly would not have a musical clothes-changing montage. Then there's a costume-changing montage to generic pop/rock music.

In an effort to generate some characterization, the two male douchebags tediously joke about India, Indiana Jones, and mimes, but create some mild xenophobia instead. It's fine. Then there's more generic music, which isn't fine. While sitting around a campfire, a football player swallows a hot dog whole, then someone tells the tale of how one of the miners 100 years ago sold his soul to the devil, the other miners raped his daughters, and then entombs them alive in the mine. Suddenly, a thunderstorm drives the friends into the mine, and then there's flashlight fish-eye shaky cam, dynamite, a tarantula, struggles with a ladder, claustrophobia, bats, characters crawling through tight spaces with night vision, and lots of walking, none of which are particularly interesting.

Although I've never been in an abandoned mine, I've been in several caves. One odd phenomena I've noticed while in caves that seems to elude the characters in this film is the fact that going downhill in caves rarely ever results in an exit. It only seems to result in more cave. Also, I try to live by a rule where if you'd like to avoid death from ghosts or bats or tarantulas or killers while in a cave or various holes in the ground, only go into the kind that have a gift shop attached to them.

At the 1 hour and 13 minute mark, one of the chicks puts on an Native American headdress and bites the head off of a rat as if she thinks she is Ozzy Osbourne, which is only slightly interesting and fairly racist. Then there are some dodgy ghost effects and more ketchup. After a realistic twist, the film ends, but it's a bit of a letdown.

Abandoned Mine seems to have a whisper of a moral, but I'm not sure what it is exactly. Maybe it's never associate with douchebags from high school? Or maybe it's to never underestimate the power of stupid people underground? I'm not sure, but I'm going to go with that for now. Saddled with an uninteresting title, maybe they should have called it Tedious Mine, Yawn-Inducing Mine, Poorly-lit Mine, or Uninteresting Mine. I would've called it Leave Mine Alone.

Oops, I forgot to plug my other reviews over at Cultured Vultures:

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