LANDMINE GOES CLICK (2015)
Directed by Levan Bakhia
Three American tourists head into the mountains of Georgia to explore. After camping overnight, the trio are joined by Devi who takes a photo of the three but whilst posing for the camera, one of them accidentally stands on a landmine. Unable to move, tourist Chris has very few options as his friend Alicia attempts to figure a way of freeing Chris without harm. When a local man named Ilya is caught walking near the camp, Chris regains hope thinking the man will get help for them but as both he and Alicia discover, Ilya isn’t the type of person to do things for free.
When Ilya first arrives on the scene, it becomes interesting in how he’ll be able to help the couple however it isn’t long before we realise that the sole purpose of his character is to torment the youngsters like a cat playing with a mouse. Taking inspiration from torture porn flicks and the likes of I Spit On Your Grave, the scenario soon turns sexually violent, all the while Chris has no option but to stand and watch else risk blowing himself up. The scenario verges slightly on the unrealistic side due to Ilya’s bumbling, almost comedic persona. He looks pretty harmless, with his rottweiler dog the most threatening out of the two of them. If Ilya was played straight and serious I think the whole scenario would have a greater impact on the viewer. However, the awkwardness of Ilya is also a refreshing change in a way as we don’t expect someone such as him to be a deviant. The back and forth between Ilya, Chris and Alicia does overstay its welcome a little but even if it doesn’t initially play out as frightening as it could have done, the end result is still shocking to the core.
LANDMINE GOES CLICK really comes into its own during the latter end of the film. The scenes are headstrong with definite shades of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. The viewer is initially behind the character leading the scenes but then you begin to question what they’re actually doing and whether their pent up anger is being vented correctly. It’s these scenes which provide the most shocks and culminates with a firm bump to reality that you will not necessarily see coming, especially at the moment it does.
Though there are the odd weak moments in the movie, the cast do a tremendous job, particularly Sterling Knight as Chris, Spencer Locke as Alicia and Kote Tolordava as Ilya. These three share the most screentime together and their back and forth dialogue and actions constitute most of the film’s scenes. Fans of the horror genre will know what’s coming next but there still remains some tense moments when you’re unsure how the characters will react to the other’s demands.
Although we don’t get to see much of the country, it’s nice to see that the film was shot on location in Georgia. The scenes atop the mountain give a certain isolation to the film that really emphasise how alone Chris is stood on the landmine and how help couldn’t be more further away. Put it this way, I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes!
LANDMINE GOES CLICK will keep you on the edge of your seat with its tale of morals and retribution, and forces the question, “how would you react if put in the same position?”
You can catch LANDMINE GOES CLICK at Film4 FrightFest 2015.