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Under the Mountain 2009

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3.6 out of 5 stars (46) IMDb 4.9/10
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The film adaptation of Maurice Gee's novel of the same name. Teenage twins Rachel (Sophie McBride) and Theo (Tom Cameron) travel to Auckland to stay with relatives following the sudden death of their mother. Staying with their Aunt Kay (Michaela Rooney) and Uncle Cliff (Matt Chamberlain) on Lake Pupuke, the twins are fascinated by the volcanic lake and the creepy old Wilberforce house around the shore. They visit Mt. Eden, where Theo sees Mr Jones (Sam Neill), a strange old man from whose hands fire seems to glow...

Starring:
Matt Gillanders, Matthew Chamberlain
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Matt Gillanders, Matthew Chamberlain, Oliver Driver, Sam Neill, Tom Cameron, Bruce Hopkins
Director Jonathan King
Genres Science Fiction
Studio ENTERTAINMENT ONE
Rental release 7 March 2011
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
If you want a bit of teenage adventure and special effects then buy this. It has just about everything you could want for an evening's viewing. It's aimed at youngsters, but I watched it with a couple of adults and we all agreed it was worth a look (well, it kept us quiet!)

There's a creepy house that used to be a funeral home with a strange family that lives there, a pair of red-headed twins who share a psychic link and a strange older man who seems to be able to conjure fire out of thin air. When it turns out that there are aliens about and the house is full of slime you know you're in for a bit of adventure.

Sam Neill does a good turn as Mr Jones who might or might not be a goodie. We're not sure about this from the prologue where he leaves two earlier red-headed twins to their fate. Tom Cameron, despite looking like Prince Harry in a lot of shots, makes a believable teenage hero, stubborn and headstrong but finally winning the game by linking with his sister. Sophie Mcbride plays the vulnerable side of Rachel with ease and her character probably has the most depth in this film.

Yes, the special effects aren't the best in the world, but they are creepy enough to do the job. The secret tunnels into the mountain look like enormous sphincters which isn't a good look, but kids wouldn't notice. The aliens transformations worked nicely with just the hint of 1970s television.

Sit back and let yourself go into this movie; if you're prepared to let the kid in you out you'll enjoy it.
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Format: DVD
Bought this as one of a selection to keep the kids occupied on rainy summer holidays. This was a well made, interesting tale, with some good acting and stunning scenery. It was good enough that my wife and I enjoyed it as well as my 11 or 7 year olds. I'd recommend it for children 7-15
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this as I have been a long standing fan of the talented Mr Neill. Didn't know what to expect but guessed it was a low budget affair so didn't really hope for much.
My other half scoffed and took the mick when he saw my purchase..."that'll be another pile of crap to add to the collection then" he laughed...
The film started ok, a little slow and the youngsters were slightly...er...weak!
Then it kind of warmed and sped up a little. The acting got better, the effects were suprisingly good and the story had some great tense moments.
By the end of it, my fella was as tense as me and as the credits rolled I got an apology!
Sam Neill is dark, brooding and full of remorse and makes the character totally believable. There is one little moment where he describes some of his past that I found a bit 'hammy' and think it could possibly have been written better but other than that...really enjoyable, well acted and quite solid.
I would recomend this if you like Sam Neill, if you like low budget movies or if you fancy something slightly different. It's more like a TV movie than a full blown thing but certainly worth a watch. It has the right amount of 'creepiness' and the bad guys are seriously spine tingling!
I don't care if it's aimed at young teens...I'm 44 and my fella is 32 and we totally enjoyed it. We showed it at our monthly film night and our group of friends also thought it was a great little movie...
Go buy it!:)
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Format: Amazon Video
With this film I felt like I'd come in in the middle of something - nothing was really explained properly. It was visually very dark, hard to see what'd going on at times, and another one of those films where the volume was all over the place - speech is barely audible, so volume must be turned up, but then other sounds and music are then way too loud... No subtitles either. So I watched it with the curtains closed and my finger constantly on the volume button of the remote. The acting seemed fine, the special effects were passable... just overall, this was disappointing for the other reasons i mentioned... Was it a book first..? I got the impression it was, and that if I'd read the book first I might've had more of a clue about what was happening (and why it was happening...)
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
One of our first "horror" experiences was the eerie TV series by the same title. I was surprised to find this remake! As far as I can remember the story, this film is very concise in comparison, just gives away too much too soon without 'suspense' building up -- which was the strongest and scariest bit in the old TV series (for a kid at least).

If you like 'B' movies, this one is definitely for you as it's not a 'B' movie in the cheesy lack-of-acting sense (in parts maybe).

And I'm not sure it is suitable for anybody under 10y of age. The Wilberforces are still scary as...
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Format: Amazon Video
Having been a fan of the book when I was a kid, I watched this with trepidation...the mood of the opening credits got my hopes up, but the music that first created that spooky feeling soon became a bland monotone that dispelled the initial tension, and it started to feel like an episode of the X-Files. The plot wasn't properly explained and the characters weren't allowed time to develop, as if it had been savagely cut. What had seemed like an epic book was over all too soon with so many scenes from the book missing from the film. The crescendo was too easily reached and then it was all over. I did think that the Wilberforces were genuinely creepy, although they weren't given enough time in the early scenes to spook us before their cover was blown. Mr Wilberforce had some great lines and really stole the show. He should get his own series. A nice attempt to film an iconic Kiwi book, that could have been much better.
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