The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine (2023) Review

Horrorific content by christina on June 22nd, 2023 | Movie Review | Cursed, Supernatural, Psychological, Thriller, Mystery, B-Horror

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It's about a father who re-opens a haunted mine in hopes of raising the money to get his niece better treatment for sudden onset schizophrenia. But in order to truly save her, he must face the family curse.

The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine is directed by Paul Collett and stars Tom Sizemore (Black Wake, Hell Girl, and VampFather), Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.Sally Kirkland (Fatal Games, Fingerprints, and Apartment 212), Rudy YoungbloodPaul CollettTori RossMay Myat NoeRevell Carpenter, and Jaedra DiGiammarino.

The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine Review

Featuring prominent actors Tom Sizemore and Tom 'Tiny' Lister, The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine gives off an eerie vibe as if the film is haunted. The existence of a 2006 short film titled The Hell Hole Mine, shared cast and crew, as well as previous release announcements and a canceled Kickstarter campaign in 2020, the year of Lister's death, hint at an intriguing backstory to this project.

However, information about the film still needs to be made available, and we can only speculate on the reasons behind potential post-production funding issues and renewed interest following Sizemore's passing. Ultimately, we have to rely on what is presented on screen. The story begins in 1877, following a group of miners, including Martin and Eddie, who work in the titular mine and encounter strange occurrences.

In the present day, Poni's uncle has passed away, leaving her family some memorabilia and the ownership of a mine—The Hell Hole Mine. Soon after, Poni starts experiencing hallucinations and displaying odd behavior. While her doctor attributes it to family-related schizophrenia, others believe it is a curse connected to the mine, haunting the family for generations. To help her, Uncle Luke seeks a way to finance an experimental treatment he believes will save Poni. Fortunately, he inherits a gold mine and dismisses the curse as mere superstitious nonsense. After all, curses aren't real, right?

Collet, who stars in the film, co-wrote The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine alongside Robbie Trujillo and co-directed it with Tammy Massa. The filmmakers incorporate an expository flashback at the beginning to prevent total confusion for the viewer. This is necessary because it quickly becomes unclear what is real and what Poni is hallucinating, adding to the mystery surrounding the cause of these hallucinations.

The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine becomes even more bewildering once Poni is institutionalized in what appears to be a prison, prompting Luke, Roscoe, and Dawn to try their luck working the mine. This results in a fragmented narrative, with scenes alternating between different plotlines and more characters experiencing hallucinations or potentially encountering ghosts. Along the way, we meet a server and Sagebrush, a Native artist struggling with alcoholism, who provide crucial background information.

At one hour and forty-seven minutes runtime, The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine feels a bit lengthy and somewhat inconsistent. The plot never entirely comes together and often feels like two stories that must be more seamlessly integrated. It avoids boring and offers a few jump scares, but the overall cohesion could be better.

Cinematographer Yan Frame does their best to create an atmosphere in the night scenes and those set inside the mine. However, the impact of the mine scenes is diminished whenever the fake plastic walls are revealed. The score by Michael Sean Colin is generally unremarkable, except for an unsettling whistling rendition of "Oh! Susanna."

The film's limited effects are simple yet effective. Unfortunately, the fight between Luke and Roscoe falls short of being convincing, with several pulled punches and staged reactions. It may be worth noting that stunt coordinator Brandon Sean Pearson has since transitioned to working as an assistant director on other films, such as American Murderer and The Canyonlands, which also involve gold mines and deadly apparitions.

Worth Watching?

As a result, The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine falls short of being a terrific film but still holds some value. If you're seeking a horror movie set in a mine and have exhausted other options then The Haunting of Hell Hole Mine might be worth a watch. Just don't expect a perfect film.

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