06/14/2017 16:36

Film: Landslide

Year: 2005

Director: Neil Kinsella

Writer: Peter Beckwith

Starring: Vincent Spano, Alexandra Paul and Lucas Elliot Eberl



This film begins with a man arriving at new condo complex. He is played by Vincent Spano. He runs into Mia Cottet, who is throwing a baby shower for her best friend. We see that there is construction going on nearby and they have explosions going off. The film alludes to that the ground isn’t that steady by the power lines and the structure holding them up shakes.

The man that is running this project is played by Jay Pickett. We see him meet with his boss, played by Robert Pine. Pine informs him that he knows he has been cutting corners and that his reputation is on the line. He tells Pickett that after this job is over, he is fired. Pine is then joined by Amy Van Nostrand. They have a meeting with the mayor soon.

On the construction site, the man that is running it is played by Jaime Gomez. His wife is the one that is pregnant. He asks questions of the man that ran the tests on the geology of this mountain; he is played by Scott Alan Smith. Smith seems to be a little bit apprehensive and not telling the whole truth. They are also using explosives that are much stronger than they need.

Spano is there to meet his wife. They are separated and thinking of divorce. She is played by Alexandra Paul. She is living here with their son, played by Lucas Elliot Eberl. Paul is the daughter of Pine and Spano meets with him first to find out where her condo is. He then visits with her and we see their relationship is strained. She has to go to the store and leaves Spano in the condo waiting for Eberl. We see the teenage boy as he walks down the hall. He runs into Keith Oney, who is stealing from the vacate condos. It turns out later that he is the brother of Nostrand.

More of the explosives are set off and it causes a landslide. It hits the condo building, trapping the people inside of it. Spano and Eberl in Paul’s apartment, Pine and Nostrand in the room they are in, Cottet and Kathryne Dora Brown in her and Gomez’s apartment and Oney in the hallway. It destroys a lot of the building as well. There are snakes that were sleeping inside of the mountain that is now inside and leaking gas. Brown also goes into labor. Pickett’s idea is to cover up what he’s done by blowing the rest of the mountain, stating it will prevent another landslide that could hit the town. His plan is to burying the condos even farther, killing Pine.

Will he succeed or will Paul convince those around her to find a way into the building? Can those inside get out before it is too late?

I heard about this film from a horror film encyclopedia that I own. This is loosely considered horror to me, but one of those that has elements from it. I think any time that you have a natural disaster like this film has, even though this one is man caused, it is a scary thing since it is real. This film was made for television and you can feel it the whole way. I did like the premise of the film, because I could see what Pickett does really happening out there. I liked that the people are trapped inside of this building, being buried under all of that dirt. The original title was Buried Alive makes a lot of sense. I’ll admit that I did think the snakes could be a bigger part to the story than what they were, but I like what they did with them to build tension. The film didn’t build enough tension though and that made it feel boring for me unfortunately. Ending was a little bit too Hollywood as well.

The acting wasn’t very good either. I thought everyone was very robotic during the build up. Spano does redeem himself when he is trying to be the hero. Pine does have some great advice that I liked. Pickett seemed way too cartoon, over the top bad guy for me. I will admit though that I liked Oney. I only did because he is full of useless facts and that would be me if I was caught in a situation like this.

My biggest issue with this film was the CGI of the landslide. When doing a film like this can be tough, because you need to show this as it is very important to the story. The problem though is the cheapest way to do it is CGI and you could tell. It looked very cheesy and I immediately was taken out of the film after that. When the dirt is piled up on the building, it was fine. I do think the editing of the film was done well, as it had to jump between each group to ensure that we are constantly updated on what each one is doing until they slowly come together. The soundtrack didn’t stand out to me, so I was indifferent to it.

Now with that said, I would not recommend this film. The acting to start out with is not very good. It does get better during the attempt to escape, but not enough to save this film. The story has a good concept, but with poor writing it doesn’t become what it could have. It never builds the tension that it needed and I feel there were some ideas that they could have used, but abandoned a little too early. The use of CGI in this film hurt it for me. The editing wasn’t bad and the soundtrack didn’t stand out. I feel this is a below average disaster film and I would avoid this one. There are much better films out there in this genre.


My Rating: 4 out of 10