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A familiar, but still sturdy, horror-movie premise doesn't go as far as it could in the Utah-made thriller "The Mine."

Five college-age friends in a small town get together on Halloween night, and ex-jock Brad (Reiley McClendon) persuades them to check out a nearby mine that's supposedly haunted. Soon, five becomes four, and then three, and so on.

Much of writer-director Jeff Chamberlain's story revolves around Brad's relationship with his girlfriend, Sharon (Alexa Vega, from "Spy Kids" and "Repo! The Genetic Opera"), and his resentment that his ex-girlfriend Laurie (Saige Thompson) — who's Sharon's best friend — has escaped small-town life for college.

That backstory makes for stronger characters than the genre usually delivers, and Chamberlain adds some surprising twists in the finale. The scares aren't as plentiful as they should be, though the ones that hit are earned honestly with no overt gore.; —


'The Mine'

Opens Friday, Sept. 14, at Megaplex 20 at The District, South Jordan, and Megaplex 17 at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi; rated PG-13 for violence and some scary images; 95 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit

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