Landmine Goes Click (2015)

[Review contains spoilers]

Landmine Goes Click starts off fairly promisingly. We’re introduced to three backpackers (Chris, Alicia and Daniel; the latter two of which are a couple) trekking across rural Georgia – that’s Georgia the country, not Georgia the state – when one of the trio accidentally steps on a landmine. Terrified of detonating the device, Chris is rendered immobile while Alicia and Daniel try and find a solution. The situation is further complicated when a local man, Ilya, arrives to the scene with his rottweiler, and spots an opportunity for some sadistic fun. The situation escalates and escalates, culminating in the rape and murder of Alicia. Soon after, Chris manages to escape from the landmine, and vows revenge on Ilya.

I’m not going to beat around the bush; Landmine Goes Click is an unpleasant movie, in every sense of the word. It starts off fairly intriguingly; it transpires there’s been some infidelity going on between Alicia and Chris that lends Chris’ landmine predicament some interesting psychological potential. However, it doesn’t take the film long to start appealing to the lowest common denominator with Ilya’s entrance, and it’s at this point that Landmine Goes Click becomes weirdly anachronistic. Echoing so-called ‘torture porn’ horrors – the likes of Saw and Hostel – it wouldn’t have looked out of place being released in the mid-2000s…but now that fad has thankfully died off, ten years later it just seems incongruous nestled amongst the likes of The Witch, Green Room and The Invitation.

And as if that wasn’t tiresome enough, halfway through the movie we’re then subjected to the whole thing all over again once Chris tracks down Ilya after his escape; in a weird ‘is-this-a-flash-forward-or-a-flashback’ cut, Chris decides the best form of revenge is to turn the tables on Ilya and do a scene-by-scene recreation of his game, but this time with Ilya’s wife and daughter as the victims.

I understand the purpose and importance of showing the retaliation in films such as this – there’s a reason ‘rape-revenge’ is a thing – but to have a male character seek vengeance on the rapist seems to be missing the point somewhat. There’s not a single female character in this film that isn’t merely a victim of masculinity. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Chris isn’t even vindicated by his revenge, and you, as an audience, don’t even feel electrified by it. It’s unpleasant for him, and it’s unpleasant for us; if only for the fact that the second half of the movie is essentially a scene-for-scene remake of the first half…so much so that it feels like you’re not watching a single hour-and-forty-minute movie, you’re watching an hour-long film twice.

All in all, there is very little redeeming about Landmine Goes Click. The main cast are pretty solid (particularly Sterling Knight, whose situation gives him the opportunity to have a play with two very different personalities, even if the transition between the two isn’t at all believable or convincing), but they’re quickly let down by the script and story. It’s nihilistic and unpleasant, and not really worth your time.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.