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