Clichéd? Yes. Scary? No. However, Richard Gray’s Mine Games doe throw a few surprises into his sixth directorial feature that just about lets him get away with releasing yet another teen cabin the woods story into the already busied genre.
It’s a risky business using such an archetypal setting; we’ve all seen Cabin Fever, Evil Dead, Cabin in the Woods etc. To do this type of film you need some real big sleeves and I think that’s what Gray realised when he created Mine Games. With the source of horror derived from an abandoned mine in the middle of the forest, I was then expecting something along the lines of My Bloody Valentine, especially as the opening scenes were as regular as they come: good looking group, three boys, three girls, drugs, alcohol, no parents to tell them what to do, totally unaware of what’s to come.
However, Gray manages to turn this around as the story takes an unexpected leap into mysticism and surrealism, when two of the teens see their own dead bodies in the mine. Soon after, our house Psychic Rose (Rebecca Da Costa) starts kicking off, throwing this film into a complete other direction. As the story moves along, the characters get more and more confused and trapped as they all begin to see spooky events unfolding that do not add up.
The suspense is not very pressing and even the most “shocking” moments don’t create much of a stir. Having said all of that, there’s no denying Gray’s effort in attempting to break the mould and in this sense he did well. It might not be the scariest watch but definitely amusing. Just don’t be expecting to jump out of your seats.
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