Thursday, November 8, 2012

[Movie Review] Dead Mine

Dead Mine
PG-13| Steven Sheil| 2012| Singapore90Mins

Reviewed By: Barron Mata
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

HBO Asia's first original movie about an expedition led by a pampered rich young man to uncover treasure in a mine of untold terrors. Shot in Singapore-based media company Infinite Studios' new facility in Batam, the horror-action is directed by Steven Sheil ("Mum & Dad") and stars Britons Sam Hazeldine and Les Loveday as a former soldier and the pampered lead character respectively, Malaysian Carmen Soo as the go-getter girlfriend of Loveday, Japanese cult action star Miki Mizuno as a reseacher and Singaporean Jimmy T as a soldier trapped in the mine.
The majority of the film was filmed on a sound stage which was meticulously created to create two really convincing realms - one of a sandy dungeon and one of a concrete labyrinth. Really well constructed and the film has good production value - Not your usual cheap local production. This had obvious effort thrown in. The sound stage is the first of its kind for a local company and it is built in Batam. This show is a showcase of the potential of such a sound stage for our future films. Plot wise, leave all expectations at the door and just watch the movie for what it is. Although the plot was rather thin and at times jarring with the writer cherry-picking the myths and urban legends of the Japanese Imperial Army, altough The story was quite average and typical "one-by-one-got-killed-while-exploring" kind of show Hollywood-styled. The setting of the underground dungeon was great, props were great too. Acting was good and the characters had decent conversation. For a first timer action-horror made by Asian, this was actually a good start. However, some parts of the story were illogical.

Consensus: My tip is to leave all expectations and benchmarks to other Hollywood films of this genre at the door and just watch the movie unfold as it is and appreciate the good production value of the film. It really is quite good for a local effort. It is definitely not your cheesy, low-budget, run of the mill local horror-house film. It has in it, a glimpse of what can and will be expected of future local films to come (especially now with the borderless creative use of the soundstage) I honestly enjoyed the film and the film did leave me feeling impressed, although the storyline and illogical prop loopholes did make me cringe a fair bit, i felt that this really bodes well for the future of local and regional films to compete with the big boys with bigger sound stages in the West. No doubt, SAW this is not, Shutter Island this isn't (plot-wise) but prop-wise, i think it is getting there. This movie can be every bit as entertaining only if you give it a chance.

 Cast & Crew:
Ario Bayu
Sam Hazeldine
Byron Hulber
Carmen Soo

Directed by: Steven Sheil
Language: English
Local Distributor:


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