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Dead Mine

Well filmed, English-speaking Indonesian Horror effort...

I bet I can tell you the last few movies that writer/director Steven Sheil saw just before he got his "inspiration" for this tepid Horror effort. After you've seen the movie you'll understand, because, the word "nod" is too soft to describe it. Think Indiana Jones, The Descent with hints of Predator tossed in for good measure. Coincidentally, it's an Indonesian independent movie, which sort of makes it an Indy Indo Indie (could we be witnessing a new sub-genre in the making?).

Steven Sheil is also a cinematographer and what this film lacks in originality, it more than makes up in technical skill because for a low-budget horror, it actually puts most to shame, aesthetically speaking. It's been filmed beautifully with the camera finding some interesting positions, in every conceivable angle, and to back that up, the lighting is another element in this films favour. It really does look good. The sound was also to be commended with some decent effects blended in; nothing outstanding, but, again, way better than what's usually on offer.

The acting varied from actor to actor, and even scene to scene, with no one doing anything memorable, except perhaps, Ario Bayu, who has a few of his native Indonesian films under his belt, and has quite a following. I can understand why. The rest of the cast were a mixture of lesser known actors but considering the lack of experience by practically everyone involved with this movie it was extremely well produced. The real let down was the clichéd writing. The skill and passion that went into this film was admirable but one wonders what would happen if these guys ever got a good script. Sadly it rarely happens. It's usually one or the other. Sad really.

Not the scariest movie I've ever seen with no decent jump moments, although, Steven Sheil did manage to do a reasonable build up in the final act, but, even that wasn't as strong a finish as I would have liked, and what a difference it would have made. A good ending can really help make a movie appear stronger, as we tend to forget about the 'not so good' bits we had seen, but still, a decent little horror that looked very, very good, however, ultimately a tad weak.

Certainly watchable, just keep your expectation on the low side to make it worthy of a quick gander.

Ed's Grade: C

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

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