Theo and Rachel are no ordinary twins. They’re capable of communicating with each other without words and can sometimes feel what the other one goes through. Their special connection is brutally cut when their mother dies in an accident. Theo closes himself off from the world and shuts Rachel out. Their father is an emotional wreck. He sends the twins to live with their uncle and aunt in Auckland. It seems to be the ideal place for Theo and Rachel to recuperate, if it wasn’t for the run down house at the edge of the lake. Its inhabitants, the Wilberforces take an unhealthy and macabre interest in the twins. Mr. Jones, their neighbour, takes them under his protection. He’s got a score to settle with The Wilberforces and only Theo and Rachel can help him beat them. But to do this, they will have to repair their special bond. And now something completely different from Black Sheep director Jonathan King. He surprises us with this beautiful adaptation of a popular New Zealand children’s novel. The gorgeously visualised story could count on sfx provided by Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop ( King Kong, Lord of the Rings ). Luckily King manages to avoid the sweet and syrupy approach of the current craze in adolescent fantasy. His characters are fragile creatures of flesh and blood and you just know that if the Wilberforces ever get their hands on Theo and Rachel, gruesome things will happen to them. Sam Neil ( Jurrasic Park, The Piano, Daybreakers ) is outstanding, as always, as Mr. Jones, but it’s New Zealand’s volcano’s that steal the show in Under The Mountain.

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