September 16, 2014 (DVD)
Robert Cross, Michele Davis Gray, Richard Gray, Ross McQueen
Briana Evigan as: Lyla
Julianna Gil as: Claire
Rebecca Da Costa as: Rose
Rafi Gavron as: Lex
Ethan Peck as: Guy
Joseph Cross as: Michael
A group of young friends head out to a log cabin in the woods. Their van breaks down when they swerve trying to avoid hitting someone they see in walking front of them, in the middle of the road and at night. The next day, they find a house. At first they aren’t sure whether or not they are suppose to stay there, but they soon find a letter confirming that they are indeed suppose to. In the meantime, we learn that one of them, Michael (Joseph Cross), suffers from schizophrenia and is off his meds, as he left them in the broken down van. They also find an abandoned mine shaft. It is here that weird and creepy stuff begins to happen and well as the discovery of scary and disturbing things. They eventually learn that there is a cycle of events that will/ have occurred, including the death of some of them. Will they be able to, as two of the characters in the movie say, “Break the cycle” and unravel the mystery before it is too late?
The real question in Mine Games is do we actually care? The answer is, sadly, no. The movie tries too hard to gain and hold our interest; unfortunately it very much fails to do so. For the most part, it is flatly directed by Richard Gray. It’s rather boring, uneventful, and takes a very long time for anything even halfway interesting to happen. There comes a point in it where it seems likes it will suddenly turn into a good movie. Sadly, the pedestrian directing prevents one from ever getting fully involved or captivated in its plot.
When the film finally does achieve that point of interest, it becomes just too weird and too messy for anyone to care about it. And, by weird we don’t mean it in the sense of a good David Lynch film. We mean it as in its’ strangeness is just completely off putting. the film becomes needlessly convoluted and confusing, and leaves the audience feeling lost. You don’t know what is happening, and, in the end, you don’t really care. It seems that the filmmakers thought they were being really smart or cool. Well, let me tell you something, they aren’t.
The film starts off almost, it would seem, purposely generic and clichéd as hell. I mean you have the vehicle that breaks down, lack of cell phone reception, power that runs on a generator, etc. Then they throw you in for a loop, but it never works as well it should. As I kind of touched upon before, there are points where I kept hoping that it would find its mark, and it would become that film that it needed/ wanted to be. But, as much as I hoped and wanted it to get good; it just never achieved that. Perhaps it would have been better if it were shorter. But, being that it is only an hour and thirty-two minutes long, to begin with, well that in of itself should say a lot about this film.
At some point the tangled timelines become so confusing and intertwined that I had no clue what the real timeframe was or much of anything else. And, again it seems like this was intended by the filmmakers. But, instead of being ingenious, cool, or smart; it just comes off as an annoying ploy of a needlessly pretentious and stupid indie horror flick. The unresolved ending would be frustrating enough in any other film. However, here it just made me groan and say to myself, “really?!” Because, quite honestly, way before this point even came, I had long stopped giving a crap.
To its advantage the acting is solid. Unfortunately the characters are just not interesting at all, and you won’t give a rat’s ass about them. Horror fans, though, will recognize two beauties from two slasher remakes either of which are better than this shitty movie. Beautiful Briana Evigan, of the underrated Sorority Row, plays the lead female role of Lyla. While the lovely Julianna Guill, who plays Claire here, you will best remember as the pair of boobs so amazing in the Friday the 13thremake, that the guy having sex with her in a scene comments on them. Sadly, she doesn’t show off the goods here, which quite frankly sucks. Actually, none of the three girls do. And, they should have because at least it would have kept me a teensy bit more interested in what’s going on the screen.
Mine Games really misses the mark. It’s nowhere near anything that it thinks that it is. And, you will never care anything about the plot or the film’s characters. With better movies like The Hole(the horror film with American Beauty lead Thora Birch) and, most especially, Triangle doing similar type of stories, there is just no reason to waste your time with this. Ultimately, this is a game not worth playing or watching.