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DVD Review: Under the Mountain
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Under the MountainUnder the Mountain
DVD | Instant Video
Screenplay by Matthew Grainger and Jonathan King
Directed by Jonathan King
Based on the Novel by Maurice Gee
Starring: Tom Cameron, Sophie McBride, Oliver Driver, Leon Wardham, and Sam Neill
Lionsgate
Rated PG-13 | 91 minutes
Release Date: August 10, 2010

Under the Mountain is an adaptation of a popular children’s novel by Maurice Gee. The main characters are Rachel and Theo Matheson, twins who have a psychic bond that allows them to communicate with each other telepathically. The twins experience a family tragedy and are sent to live with relatives in Auckland. After moving to Auckland, they discover the Wilberforces, shapeshifting creatures who intend to conquer Earth. They are aided by their cousin and a mysterious older gentleman named Mr. Jones who has been battling the Wilberforces for a long time. The twins have to learn to rely on each other and rekindle their psychic bond in order to defeat the Wilberforces.

The plot is very thrilling. Grainger and King made a good choice in raising the ages of the characters from the original book. Tom Cameron‘s and Sopie McBride‘s interactions as siblings feel very genuine. Also, there are several twists and turns in the story that progress toward a very exciting conclusion.

I also have to mention Sam Neill as the enigmatic Mr. Jones. Neill finds the right balance between toughness and concern in his portrayal of Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is a pivotal character in the film, and Neill was an excellent choice to portray him. Neill delivers a solid performace that anchors the film. Peter Jackson’s special effects house WETA must also be commended for their work on the film, particularly the effects that show the twins’ abilities and the Wilberforces’ shape-changing sequences.

Under the Mountain is a thrilling, action-packed tale that is suitable for preteens and teens and would be great film for a family movie night.

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