Why do they do it? Every year thousands of youngsters graduate from American colleges and set off on road trips and it seldom ends well.
So, when Michael (Joseph Cross), Lyla (Briana Evigan), Guy (Ethan Peck), TJ (Alex Meraz), Rose (Rebecca Da Costa), Claire (Julianna Guill) and Lex (Rafi Gavron) swerve to avoid “some kind of local serial killer”, their minibus is wrecked and they have to walk the final few miles to the house they have rented for their vacation. Now Lex is English, so he of course remembers to bring along all the booze, but Michael is psychotic and naturally leaves the drugs that keep his condition under control in the van.
When they get to the house, they discover it is close to an abandoned mine and as you would expect, rather than think “Oh it might be a bit dangerous, I better keep out”, they set off to explore its inky depths. Lex decides to share his stash of magic mushrooms with Rose who is also a bit of a psychic. Bad idea because things start weirding out from here on. Rose alone keeps seeing everyone covered in wounds and further trips to the mine reveal their future corpses. Naturally, rather than getting the hell out of there, they keep going back to the mine to try and make sense of it all. These crazy kids never learn do they?
Any more of a reveal is really going to spoil your enjoyment of the movie, however there is a big idea in Mine Games that goes a bit beyond the ‘run-of-the-mill nut job on the loose in a dark’ scary mine flick.
Of the cast, Rafi Gavron as Lex steals the show as the cheeky cockney, who is initially set up as the group wanker (jerk to our transatlantic flowers), but turns out to have the most strength of character when the chips are down. The rest of the cast are standard serial killer movie ballast. Technically the film is well paced with some nicely set up shocks that eventually sew up the various loose ended clues into the overarching concept.
A competently enough made set ’em up and kill ’em off cheapie that has a bigger overall concept, I give Mine Games a 444/666.
Mine Games is out now on DVD.
Review by Simon Ball
Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here