THE MILL *** USA 2008 Dir: Grainger Hines. 90 mins
Welcome to Landis, a town that is slowly dying due to the closure of Steen’s Textile Mill which was once the main source of income for many residents of the town. When 6 college friends organise a party in the old mill, they invite the owner’s son Nick along, mainly because he is the one with access to the building. With Nick making it an odd number of guests they invite along geek Cari as his date. Before going to the facility they stop off at the local gas station to buy beer and humiliate the attendant in the process. Now they go to the abandoned mill where they will drink the night away, hoping to have have sex but someone is not going to let this party go down quietly. The college friends get killed off one by one in various ways but mostly involving animals and insects making this similar to a Giallo. All fingers point to Nick being the culprit especially as he seems a little unhinged using a weird hand puppet to communicate showing that he has somewhat of a split personality. Is Nick the killer or is something afoot? As the tension rises and the bodies keep falling the remaining friends must try to survive or at least escape The Mill. The Mill is a trove of horror clichés which can be looked at in two ways: 1) you are a horror aficionado and enjoy the safeness of familiarity, or 2) you will see The Mill as bringing nothing new to the table and will soon forget the movie. It has a couple of red herrings in the film in regards to who is doing the killing which will delight those who like to be kept on their toes with a mystery. If you are looking for high calibre acting, well this film isn’t it but huge props to Robert Rainbolt who played Nick for bringng his characters slow decline into madness to life with his puppet friend who he also voices, at occasions he holds the film together with his conversations with his puppet. The filmmakers make good use of the location in The Mill and it adds a certain atmosphere to all the goings on in the film, it certainly isn’t somewhere you would want to party. This film as a whole as previously mentioned is very cliché but it a slasher film that ticks all the boxes you would expect from the genre. Put your detective hat on and watch The Mill. Will you work out who the killer is before the film comes to a close?
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins