Struggles to capitalise on it’s considerable promise…
The concept behind Landmine Goes Click bursts with promise; a tourist (Sterling Knight) steps on a landmine whilst hiking in Geogia with his best mate and his mate’s girlfriend. With our protagonist pinned to one spot lest the mine explodes we are now set up for something rather thrilling, an inventive and focused portrait of fear. Instead though the film almost immediately deteriorates into something far more generic and consequently less interesting when the best mate leaves the picture and is swapped for a vicious local who seizes the opportunity to intimidate, psychologically torture Knight’s character Chris by raping the girlfriend just out of arm’s reach. Powerless to stop him Chris is forever changed by the experience, an element of the script which rears its head towards the end of the picture to a certain degree of success.
Although the film disappointingly looses its thrills almost immediately we still have to give credit to its three lead performers who all do well in their roles; Knight impressing in a role which requires him to play through a number of very different emotional states, Spencer Locke does well as the girlfriend making sure that the audience cares about her before she meets her horrific fate and then Kote Tolordava makes for a convincing and compelling villain. There’s a lot of potential here with this cast but the script often undercuts that by not painting their decisions as believable, and over-stretching the central situation and consequently sucking it dry of tension.
Unfortunately this film bites off more than it can chew and so consequently doesn’t deliver as one would hope it could. It occurs to you whilst watching that perhaps this concept should have been explored in a short film, that medium would really allow you to mine it for all it is worth without having to create side plots and unnecessary details to fill up the running time. It’s with something of a heavy heart that we have tow rite this off because it could have worked well, instead though it is something more of a failed experiment in form and narrative.
Landmine Goes Click is released on VOD in the UK from today (March 7th) through FrightfestPresents. Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!