Could they have come up with any other name than the boorish and uninteresting name of ‘Abandoned Mine’? Even its original title of The Mine is slightly better. Of course, don’t judge a book by its cover but when such little effort is put into naming a movie, it really doesn’t bode well.
Written and directed by Jeff Chamberlain, Abandoned Mine is as bland as its title suggests. Sleepwalking through a ‘seen it all before’ story that lacks thrills or chills.
A group of friends, led by high school jock Brad (Reiley McClendon), decide they want to do something different this Halloween. So, armed with helmet cameras, they head off to a local abandoned mine that is said to be haunted. Haunted by the vengeful spirit of a miner and his daughters.
Of course, the premise is silly. The idea that this group of walking horror movie caricatures would choose to spend Halloween in a dirty, dusty, and potentially dangerous mine is laughable. This is horror though and horror is going to horror. So, the movie gets a bit of a pass there.
Where it doesn’t get a pass is with the events that occur once we’re in the mine. Abandoned Mine seems to be trying to combine the claustrophobia of The Descent and every paranormal horror you have ever seen. With a stronger set of characters, it may have been a little more interesting but there’s not much here. They have personalities but it’s standard horror fare and you can easily predict the order most will die in. Even if that complaint doesn’t relate to a pretty game cast. They just don’t have much to work with.
Where Abandoned Mine excels is with its location. Filmed within an abandoned mine, the setting is suitably dark and grim. That certainly adds an unexpected level of grittiness and realism to things. It really could have been used to enhance and deliver atmosphere and scares, yet the film’s biggest failing is the lack thereof.
This just isn’t a scary movie. In fact, it’s surprising just how tame it is. There’s next to no gore, blood, or visible violence. Every possible turn that could lead to an effectively frightening moment sees the movie veer off in a disappointing direction. At least until its climax, that does shift things in an unexpected and likely polarising way.
So that’s Abandoned Mine, a horror movie that seems purpose-made for a younger audience. Yet, it doesn’t do enough interesting things to keep such an audience engaged. It’s not a terribly made film, it’s more that its impact is so nominal that its existence will be forgotten about immediately after viewing.
Abandoned Mine (2013)
Abandoned Mine - 4/10