Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Abandoned Mine: a Supernatural Shaft
are bureaucrats at the Interior Department who will have nightmares after
watching this film. The rest of us
should sleep pretty soundly. Four college-aged knuckleheads will indeed follow
through on their wildly ill-conceived subterranean Halloween plans in Jeff
Chamberlain’s Abandoned Mine (trailer here), which has
special one night only screenings in fourteen select cities and also kicks off
a week long Hollywood engagement tomorrow.
is a former high school quarterback who never left his sleepy home town. His ex-girl friend Sharon temporarily left
for college, but now she is back. While
she was gone, he took up with her best friend, Laurie—and why not? Laurie is the one that is afraid of spiders,
while Sharon is the one played by Alexa Vega from Spy Kids. Aside from that,
they are pretty much interchangeable.
has the really clever idea to get the old gang together and party Halloween
night away in the old Jarvis Mine. Of
course, he plans to punk his friends and video tape the results. The mine’s notorious history should have them
primed for his pranks. Old man Jarvis
and his two young daughters were murdered there by his own miners, doing the
bidding of his partners in San Francisco.
Considering everyone knows what happened, it clearly was not a well
executed crime. Nonetheless, they say
the spirits are restless in the Jarvis Mine.
question, the creepiest part of Abandoned
are the eerie old photos of evil looking miners seen during the opening
sequence. They set quite an evocative
tone. Unfortunately, it is impossible to
care about the dull, clueless characters, who really ought to know better,
particularly our protagonist, Brad, who deserves a swift back-handed
slapping. Only Charan Prabhakar projects
any sense of an individual personality as Ethan, the first generation Indian
honors student tagging along.
Abandoned is not a found footage
film, per se. Chamberlain only
occasional shows the audience flashes of their surviving video in befuddling
snippets. To his credit, he also largely
avoids the graphic gore, gratuitous nudity, and explicit language often found
in horror films. Perhaps the audience is
supposed to provide it instead.
Regardless, it is impossible to get around how
jaw-droppingly stupid Brad’s plan is.
Kids, you should never play around in deserted mines, even in broad
daylight. It is especially foolish to do
so during Halloween night, when emergency services are always stretched thin. Just sort of generic, Abandoned Mine will underwhelm genre fans. For diehard Vega fans, it screens for a week
(8/15-8/22) at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood, USA and tomorrow night only
(8/15) at the Northfield 18 in Denver, the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake, as well
as other primarily western markets.
Labels: Ghost movies