Mine Games Explained (Movie Plot And Ending)

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Mine Games is a 2012 thriller directed by Richard Gray. A group of friends rent out an isolated cabin to celebrate the end of college. This area is caught in something mysterious, as indicated by an Aurora Borealis that should not be there considering the latitude and season. The group finds a nearby abandoned mine and enter it. Doesn’t sound very good for the group at all, does it? Well, I can’t say further without spoiling the film. Read further after you’ve watched the movie. Here is the plot and the ending of the movie Mine Games explained; spoilers ahead.

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Oh, and if this article doesn’t answer all of your questions, drop me a comment or an FB chat message, and I’ll get you the answerYou can find other film explanations using the search option on top of the site.


Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:

It’s important to understand that the movie Mine Games shows us the second loop of what appears to be a cyclic repetition of a set of horrific events.

The Characters

Michael: This guy is central to the plot and has severe mental issues for which he seems to be on medications that he’s reluctant to take.
Lyla: Michael’s girlfriend, who’s supportive of his condition.
Rose: Appears to be a psychic with no control of her powers.
Lex, TJ: Cousins
Claire: TJ’s girlfriend
Guy: The single dude

The film follows the classic character tropes that The Cabin In The Woods talks about.

Mine Games: Plot Explained: The First Time

Since the movie shows us the second loop, we’re going to have to speculate about the first one. Here are my thoughts of what happened the first time around. Further below in this article, I discuss why the first time events need to be different from the events we see in the movie. The first time…

  • The van didn’t go off-road as there was no one waving in the middle of the road.
  • Group-1 arrived at the house with no note left for them.
  • They found the mine for the first time and entered it, and triggered the first loop.
  • They didn’t find any dead bodies of themselves in the mine.
  • Some other undisclosed events caused group-1 to turn on Michael-1. The most likely explanation is that Michael-1 was off his medication, which caused him to imagine that the group was out to get him. Michael-1 started displaying aggression.
  • Group-1 possibly talked about locking Michael-1 up but never got to do it. But for the sake of caution, Michael-1 took the keys to the door in the mine. We also don’t know how, but Michael-1 knew that the group is caught in a loop. Which is why he wrote,” This is the first time” inside the mine room.
  • Michael-1 killed Lex-1 and left him in the mine.
  • Michael-1 killed TJ-1 and locked Claire-1 alive in another room in the mine.
  • Rose-1 went through her condition because of the energies of the mine and eventually died from her convulsions. 
  • Guy-1 and Lyla-1 tried to make a run for it and left a note for the rest saying, “TJ, Lex, Claire. Wait here. Be back soon”.

The Second Loop Begins

guy waving the van first time

  • Guy-1 tries to flag a van down, causing it to go off track. This is group-2’s van.
  • The van hits and kills Lyla-1.
  • Michael-1 tossed Rose-1’s body in the basement of the house.
  • Michael-1 stops Guy-1 from entering the house where group-2 is now present. This causes a loud noise. Michael-1 slits Guy-1’s throat. A dying Guy-1 writes on the mine wall, “Break the cycle” with his blood.
  • Michael-1 leaves Guy-1’s body in the mine.
  • Michael-1 meets Michael-2 and warns him that his group will turn on him and hands him the key to the mine room.
  • The authorities seem to have found Lyla-1’s dead body in the forest, perhaps left there by Michael-1.

Mine Games: Plot Explained: The Second Time

lyla 2 group 2 fuel stop

The events in the movie are part of the second loop, and it overlaps with the first time from the moment their van sees someone on the road.

  • Group-2 stops to fuel up. We’re shown a board that reads “Unidentified Girl Found Dead In Forest”. This is Lyla-1. 
  • Group-2 encounters Guy-1 on the road, and their van swerves to the side hitting and killing Lyla-1. Neither does the group realize that it was Guy on the street, nor do they notice they have hit somebody on the side.
  • The van’s damage causes the fuel to leak and comes to a halt. Group-2 complete the rest of their journey on foot to the cabin.
  • TJ-2 and Rose-2 enter the house to see the note left by Guy-1 and Lyla-1 and assume it was placed by the homeowner, and go scare the rest.
  • Group-2 hears a loud noise. This is caused by Michael-1 attacking Guy-1. By the time Michael-2, TJ-2 and Guy-2 exit to look, Michael-1 has left the scene with Guy-1 and kills him. 
  • Michael-1 meets Michael-2 and warns him that his group will turn on him and hands him the key to the mine room.
  • Michael-2 retires for the night as the rest continue to party.

Discovering the Mine

mine games entering the mine

  • Group-2 discovers the mine and enters it. 
  • Rose-2 is grabbed by something and begins having visions of scars and sees the dead version of her friends.
  • TJ-2 and Lex-2 find the dead bodies of Lex-1, TJ-1 and Guy-1 in the mine and go tell group-2 about his.
  • TJ-2 and Lex-2 return to the mine and find Claire-1 locked up, claiming that Michael did this, but they leave her there because they know that this Claire is different from the one at home.
  • Group-2 collectively decides to lock Michael-2 up as his calm nature in the middle of all the chaos adds to their suspicion.

Michael Escapes

locking up michael

  • Michael-2 escapes using the key Michael-1 gave him. Rose-2 at home sees a vision of Michael-2 escaping and tells group-2.
  • TJ-2, Lex-2 and Claire-2 go back to the mine to confirm this and chase after Michael-2.
  • A previously broken bridge has reset to being whole; Michael-2 uses this as a trap and runs by the side of the weak spot on the bridge.
  • Lex-2 has never been to the bridge or seen it broken. So without suspicion, he runs on it chasing after Michael-2. The bridge breaks, and Lex-2 falls to his death. Now we know why the bridge was / is / will be broken.
  • Michael-2 then kills TJ-2 and locks Claire-2 up in the same room as Claire-1. The two Claires meet in horror.
  • Michael-2 places TJ-2 and Lex-2’s dead bodies in the mine room. This room should soon be filled with a lot of bodies.
  • Meanwhile, Rose-2 dies from her convolutions, and Lyla-2 and Guy-2 decide to make a run for it. Before leaving, they leave a note that reads, “TJ, Lex, Claire. Wait here. Be back soon”. 

The Third Loop Begins

guy waving the van second time

  • On the road, Guy-2 tries to wave at a van – this is group-3. The van swerves and hits Lyla-2, who is wounded pretty severely but not dead.
  • Guy-2 runs after the van to get help. Group-3 is in the house now. Before he can enter, Michael-2 attacks Guy-2 causing a loud noise. 
  • Michael-2 slits Guy-2’s throat, who writes the phrase “Break the cycle” with his blood. The previous message from Guy-1 is gone because the loop has reset.
  • Michael-2 leaves Guy-2 body in the mine and meets Michael-3. He warns him about the group turning on him and hands him the key to the mine room.
  • Michael-2 joins Michael-1 at a bonfire, who forces him to toss his medication into the fire.
  • Meanwhile, Lyla-2 gets up and continues to head out. On the next day, Lyla-2 intercepts group-4 who are still refuelling and picking up supplies.

Mine Games: Ending Explained

mine game ending scene

The ending of the movie Mine Games shows Lyla and Michael having a conversation in the van as they are interrupted by another Lyla who is terribly wounded. From what we have seen, this bleeding girl is Lyla-2, who was hit by group-3’s van. The Michael and Lyla that Lyla-2 intercepts are part of group-4. The horrible cycle the group is stuck in might be broken thanks to Lyla-2.

Why would the events of each loop be different?

We have followed group-2 in the movie, and when they stop for refuelling, they are not met by a bleeding Lyla. This means the events experienced by each subsequent group is different.

Group-4 may not go to the cabin because of the warning from Lyla-2. Even if they do, their purpose would not be to chill.

Group-3, who accidentally hit Lyla-2, would have entered the mine to see two bodies of TJ, Lex and Guy, and two Claires locked up.

Group-2, the people we saw in the film, find one set of bodies in the mine and one Claire.

By extension, Group-1 would not have seen any bodies at all and would have experienced a drastically different day leading to Michael-1’s murders.

But this leads to some questions…

How did Michael escape the first time around?

Group-2 begins suspecting Michael-2 because of what Claire-1 tells them in the mine. Group-1 would not have found a locked up Claire and so there would need to be another reason to doubt Michael-1. This is why my guess is that it is Michael-1 who imagines things against group-1 because of skipping on his medication.

Where is group-1’s van?

Wouldn’t each group find an extra van each time? Group-1’s van is nowhere to be found. Group-2’s broken down van disappears, and Group-3’s van is in its place. If the people keep accumulating, like the Claires and Lylas, wouldn’t there be more vans too? Somehow, they magically disappear along with the writing on the wall that says, “Break the cycle”.

While Mine Games is an interesting concept, it leaves a lot of questions open which we as audiences need to answer using a hypothetical backstory. That said, it’s not a bad watch. That’s all I’ve got. What did you think about the plot and ending of Mine Games? Drop a comment below with your thoughts and questions.