LANDMINE GOES CLICK

PrintE-mail Written by Courtney Button

Following a collection of festival performances Landmine Goes Click now arrives on home release.

Three Americans, Chris (Sterling Knight), Alicia (Spencer Locke) and Daniel (Dean Geyer) embark on a camping trip in the Georgian countryside. While in the wilderness Chris steps on an old landmine. Trapped and desperate, help seems to come in the form of local Ilya (Kote Tolordava) but his presence might not be as fortuitous as it first appeared.

Director Levan Bakhia’s first film was 247°F, an unintentionally funny horror about a group of teens stuck in a malfunctioning sauna. Landmine Goes Click generally sticks with the stuck in one location premise, ups the production quality but adds in a whole heap of its own problems. Landmine Goes Click opens with soaring shots of the picturesque Georgian landscape before tumbling head first in to the sewage of the worn rape/revenge genre.

The initial dramatic setup, teased by the title, only really serves to get our characters in to place and the reason for its existence is quickly dropped and never revisited. When Ilya bumbles along things take a quick turn to the vicious. Ilya looks like Georgian version of Super Mario but he is definitely not here to save the princess. His character is a strange one; not immediately threatening he seems almost inept but his true nature is soon revealed. This, in a way, makes things a little different than if he was an obvious outright antagonist; the power struggles swing back and forth between the trio and you’re never really sure if Ilya is actually going to help or not. In the end though, he isn’t particularly a rounded character; his actions are so horrid that the film can’t mount anything close to a convincing defence. The cinematography in the film is solid, with long takes at the characters’ level which keeps you rooted in the scene.

Landmine Goes Click is an extremely uncomfortable watch. Two thirds of it are concerned with sadistic games played out amongst its characters with the first third used as a vindictive set up to the whole story. At an hour forty minutes long, the vicious games become extremely tiresome, no longer holding a shocking power or tension and just feel like an excuse for abasement. The film has a seam of misogyny and xenophobia that taints everything, which isn’t helped by a distressing and unnecessarily protracted rape scene.  The last shot of Landmine Goes Click seems to be trying to offer up some sort of moral message and justification for the preceding violence but when the film has spent as long as it does revelling in this violence it doesn’t really leave it with a moral leg to stand on.

A hugely uncomfortable film, Landmine Goes Click is well shot and acted but it has nothing to say about its huge amount of violence and degradation.

LANDMINE GOES CLICK / DIRECTOR: LEVAN BAKHIA / SCREENPLAY: ADRIAN COLUSSI / STARRING: STERLING KNIGHT, SPENCER LOCKE, DEAN GEYER, KOTE TOLORDAVA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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