Film4 Frightfest 2015 Review – Landmine Goes Click

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Three young friends from America are enjoying a pre-wedding hiking trip in the beautiful Birtvisi area of Georgia.However there are secrets and lies festering beneath the apparent endearment and when they unexpectedly break for the surface a domino effect of deadly division is initiated.

Bride and groom Alicia and Daniel want to use the gorgeous scenery as a backdrop for a commemorative moment with future best man Chris.One carefully staged photographic composition later and Chris finds himself at the mercy of a lethal left over from the Russo-Georgian War.

At first the resulting peril stems from the implosion of the trio’s own affinity but a much greater threat emerges when an unforeseen force of depravity rears it’s twisted head.With one foot mired in a moral swamp and the other planted on a Landmine, Chris must summon the courage to face the helplessness and frustration of immobility in the face of opportunistic exploitation.

The strongest draw of this unpredictable and unruly independent shocker is it’s refusal to cow-tow to the traditional language of cinema.It defiantly shoves two fingers up in the general direction of expectation and confidently flips the bird in the face of conventional narrative.

The film’s aura of originality is not cultivated through ground breaking plot devices nor it’s admittedly bat shit premise but rather through a single minded commitment to tell it’s story on it’s own intransigent terms.The seemingly haphazard yet carefully targeted sensory bombshells and cinematic curve balls are kept jealously sequestrated until the movie is ready to almost reluctantly concede them.

Landmine Goes Click is sure to prove divisive in terms of audience appreciation and critical interpretation.The film it’s self is totally aware of this fact and is quite content in forcing viewers to inhabit the black and white camps of love and hate by providing no grey area of indifference in which to shelter.

Like all good avant-garde film making Landmine Goes Click‘s impudent rebelliousness will not garner universal acclaim but to be perfectly honest the movie never once conveys the impression of giving even the most solitary of fucks about that.

Some of you will be mesmerised by the natural delivery of the casual and cruel abuse both mental and physical.Transfixed by the central scene as it tests the boundaries of one location longevity until the very light it’s self seems to wave the white flag.Fascinated at the way it claws away at the fourth wall leaving it tissue thin yet unbroken.

Some of you will detest the improvised ramblings that passes for dialogue.Beaten into lethargic submission by the use of thematic repetition and long lingering camera shots that seem to wink back at you from the very edges of eternity.Infuriated by the way it refuses to pander to the twin bores of logic and viable circumstance.

Either way, underestimate the intelligence and credibility at the grubby heart of this nefarious revenge film at your peril as the swift kick in the balls it delivers during it’s finale will hurt all the more intensely.

There is no doubt that the shadow of auteur Micheal Haneke’s Funny Games looms large over the proceedings,but it is understanding how it is cast and where it subsequently falls that is of the most value when trying to decode the film’s agenda.

As Levan Bakhia himself explained to me via a voice note the inspiration stemming from Hanake’s work is not simply just one of surface ideas and directorial homage.Much deeper than that Funny Games actually exists within the universe of Landmine Goes Click and functions as a catalyst that shapes the ultimate destiny of the entire story.

It is just this kind of detailed thought process coupled with playful arrogance that typify’s the movie’s attitude and elevates it above the plethora of similar genre offerings.

Be advised this thriller may start out on the path well travelled but it veers off road any time it damn well pleases to some very distasteful and noxious places indeed.

The best policy is to approach Landmine Goes Click with an element of trust in the film makers vision and let it take you where it want’s to go whilst simultaneously making preparations for a long hot post movie mind shower.

[rating=4]
Bradley Hadcroft

Horror,Suspense,Revenge | Georgia, 2015  |Language: English,Georgian,Russian |  Sarke Studio | Release Date: 20th Nov 2015(U.S.A.) Dir : Levan Bakhia |  Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer

Film4 Frightfest detailsFRIDAY 28THEUROPEAN PREMIERE – Film 4 Screen 1.00pm – Arrow Screen 3.35pm – Horror Channel Screen 11.30am.