Dead Mine (2012)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/14/14
Cast: Miki Mizuno, Ario Bayu, Joe Taslim, Carmen Soo

A rich corporate engineer and his bitchy girlfriend hire a band of mercenaries to guide them through the jungles of Indonesia in search of a lost World War II Japanese bunker. What they find is the remains of an old medical research lab, where POWs were experimented on and turned into monsters. These foul abominations still roam the halls and take out our merry little band in standard horror film fashion.

Japanese action actress Miki Mizuno is given star billing as the requisite scientist babe, despite the fact that she has very little to do other than look timid and scared. She's also heavily dubbed, which is unconvincing and disappointing. The box cover is also misleading, as it features a woman who looks sort of like Ms. Mizuno holding an assault rifle, but there's no such action in the film. In fact, very little happens at all. It's mostly just a group of people sneaking around in a creepy old place and occasionally getting attacked by creatures that are hiding in the darkness. Things get increasingly ridiculous as the film wears on, and the dialog becomes more and more tedious and tiresome. For better or worse, the film's laughably abrupt and unexpected ending is the only thing that breaks convention in this otherwise by-the-numbers horror outing.

Produced by HBO Asia, it's a decent enough looking production and the makeup effects are competent. While the characters are shallow and uninteresting, the acting is serviceable. Miki Mizuno does a fine job of looking terrified, and Ario Bayu is very endearing as the level-headed team captain. The film maintains a constant sense of dread and impending doom, and moves at an acceptable pace. It's not a terrible film, but it's also not worth wasting your time on.