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John’s Horror Corner: Mine Games (2012), a B-movie that surely makes an effort premise-wise, but whose director really never transcends it above B-moviedom

March 20, 2015


Let’s talk about misleading movie posters, shall we? Misleading movie poster #1: Movie is called Mine Games.  The poster has a picture of a cabin in the woods.  REALLY?

MY CALL:  This B-movie makes an effort, but the director really never transcends its B-moviedom.  The best quality of this movie is the unreached potential of its premise.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Mine Games:  Some reviewers compare this to a movie called Coherence (2013), but I don’t know it. minegames

Misleading movie poster #2: Here you’d think the theme of the movie was as much linked to Spring Break as a mine.

This flick feels so much like the Friday the 13th (2009) reboot for the first 20 minutes.  Not only because modern day Scream Queen Julianna Guill (The Apparition, Altitude) is in it–and playing pretty much the same exact role–but because of the nice log cabin McMansion in the woods they go to for a 20-something vacation.  Our 20-somthing group includes the classic Cabin in the Woods (2012) roles of the athlete, the scholar, the fool (stoner), the virgin (in this case, she’s a self-proclaimed spiritually sensitive medium; Rebecca Da Costa of Freerunner), the whore (Guill’s role), and one extra female role in which fellow modern day Scream Queen Briana Evigan (The Devil’s Carnival, Mother’s Day, Sorority Row) plays the straight, serious, concerned girlfriend of a guy who needs to “take his meds” for something that is never explained…making him something of a wild card role. Mine-Games-MOVIE

Misleading movie poster #3:  Is there a tunnel from the cabin to the mine?  And “are you ready to play” what exactly?  Is this a play on the Jigsaw’s tagline? There’s no “game” to play in this movie.  Although the clever similarity to “Mind Games” in this semi-trippy movie obviously explains a lot.

This group is deep in the mountainous woods for a little vacation and partying in a remote location.  In the early scenes they drink (some doing so all the time), try to sleep with one another, do drugs, and discover an abandoned mine.  This cookie-cutter set up plus two scream queens, along with the fact that we had a sex scene in the first 15 minutes signal us that we are not in for anything deep, original, or intellectually stimulating.  This should be a typical, formulaic VideoOnDemand/Direct-to-DVD horror-by-numbers, right?  Actually…not quite. Mine-Games-e1408148112990

Yup…this totally looks like a scene from a horror movie that is to be taken seriously.  Two girls known for their roles in horror movies (and taking off their clothes in one case) sitting around in bikinis drinking beer from Solo cups.  This director clearly had his game face on. SMH

Yes, this movie started out like the Playboy channel was hosting a Coors Light commercial, but we get hints that this will turn out to be something more.  Our medicated character has dreams that take place in an abandoned mine shaft, our medium sees “spirits” and the characters venture into the mines to encounter echoes from the future about their fate.  Seems like our story is trying to break out of the cookie-cutter mold. 14763

Bro #1: “Hey look, an abandoned mine.” Bro #2: “Let’s go in. I’m sure it’s totally up to safety standards of the MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration).” Bro #1: “Cool. What could go wrong?”


“This is the first time”…for what?  This is an example of something that “tries”, then doesn’t get properly executed during the reveal, so it just fizzles out and falls on its face. Good idea; poor execution.

This twisty-turny plot clearly tries and, in premise alone, maybe there was something there—something that could have been good.  However, the execution left me desperately wanting something more substantial.  It’ll make you think and become hopeful after you lumber through the first act.  I just doubt that the thinking will lead you to a satisfying outcome.  What’s more is where the execution of this would-be decent premise has failed, the special effects and acting take no part in remedying such malady.  The characters make dumb decisions that hardly make sense and even though the story leaves nothing to the imagination, the end still doesn’t necessarily fit the story. Sc11 I have no idea why—and I couldn’t be troubled to look up the reason—but I knew about this movie for a couple years yet was only able to find it on Netflix and Amazon recently.  It’s listed as a 2012 movie, but I don’t know who (of the generally movie-going public) saw it before this year.  I guess it’s nothing important enough to discuss, though.  Just another horror movie unworthy of a theatrical release at the end of the day.  It probably had difficulty picking up support somewhere along the process line leading to its release.  The same seems to be happening to 7500 (2014, but I knew about it already in 2012 and was looking for it then), which has still not been released in the US but, from what I hear, we’re not missing out on much despite the provocative trailer. When all is said and done, I’d advise skipping this one.  You might find some positive reviews, but the reviews are all over the place (evenly distributed from 1 to 5 stars on Amazon).  The best quality of this movie is the unreached potential of its premise. 51nmAbEReqL

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2015 3:53 pm

    Great review, John! Oddly enough, I just watched it last night. It was definitely good, but people should engage in TIMECRIMES and TRIANGLE first. Write on!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      March 20, 2015 4:49 pm

      I heard some positive reviews about Triangle. You liked it? Did you discuss it in a podcast by any chance? If so, please reply with a link.

      • Victor De Leon permalink
        March 23, 2015 10:50 am

        Triangle is a very good flick, John. You will really enjoy it, man, Pretty trippy and good story, too.

  2. Victor De Leon permalink
    March 23, 2015 10:53 am

    Nice review, John. I’ve seen this one floating around on Netflix. May give it a go one night, only if I am starved for somehing to check out. Thanks for the head’s up!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      March 23, 2015 11:02 am

      Yes…when there’s nothing else. Or at least, not much else. Netflix needs to refresh their horror. I’ve seen almost all of it. LOL


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