NOW ON VOD! What’s ferocious enough to disembowel Mickey while sewing Minnie’s mouth shut? Three Blind Mice, directed and edited by Pierre B from a script by David Malcolm. When I was growing up in the 1980s, young people in horror movies got murdered when they went into the woods to screw or get screwed up. Now it seems people end up in the woods because they are trying not to get screwed up, and it doesn’t do them a damn bit of good against an axe. Still, it is a vast improvement over the h***y picnic idiots waiting to die stories of yore.
Cassie (Natasha Tosini) is running through the woods as something has attacked her and killed her friends. She is grabbed by Gerard (Marcus Massey), who pulls her behind a tree and tells her to be quiet. He pulls her over to an underground bunker when they hear horrible squeaking noises in the woods behind them. Cassie is scared to go down there, so Gerard runs ahead of her as the squeaks get louder. Down in the bunker is a decrepit lab covered in dried blood. It is here Cassie finds herself surrounded by the hideously mutated three blind mice, Sniff (Samantha Cull), Scratch (Julia Quayle), and Squealer (Danielle Ronald), and awful things occur.
We then turn to Abigail (May Kelly), a young woman crushing pills and snorting them off a mirror in the bathroom while her family bangs on the door. Her mom, Jude (Lynne O’Sullivan), and dad, Keith (Keith Eyles), are worried. Best friend Lara (Lila Lasso) tells Abi the drugs are out of control, while brother Mark (Karl Hughes) is fed up. They bring in addiction specialist Cara (Helen Fullerton), who sets up a retreat in the woods where the family can be with Abi as she goes cold turkey. It is a quiet cabin with no cell reception that the organization uses for drug withdrawals all the time. As everyone settles in, they fail to notice the entrance to the underground bunker that lies deeper in the forest.
“…finds herself surrounded by the hideously mutated three blind mice…”
Three Blind Mice has some serious dramatic heft carrying us between the scary stretches. The family’s drug turmoil rings true and is engaging. It is almost a shame when everything goes to hell, and that plot thread is left behind in a puddle of blood (almost). Because we all know we are here for the horror, and this flick brings it relentlessly. The director sets the correct tone to achieve maximum frights by draining out all humor. With a nursery rhyme as the inspiration, even a tiny tee hee would render everything silly beyond repair.
The eerie atmosphere is solidified by the spooky cinematography by Dom Hopking, who proves himself a master of the murky. Shadows are bent with sickening shades to achieve low light ghastliness. This is the perfect way to enjoy the excellent monster prosthetics supervised by Rebecca Wheeler. The make-up effects add realism as the details unfold to gruesome delight. This is helped by the twisted movements of Cull, Quayle, and Ronald, whose craft is close to experimental dance.
A major hook keeping me glued was wondering how the backstory would be handled. When the moment arrived, it was evil bliss. The explanation behind the mutant creatures is a grimly fiendish payoff while avoiding over-defining anything to keep the dread in full effect. Also, the filmmaker gets the blood spilling right away and keeps pouring more and more. This is an excellent horror debut in the spirit of the cinema brutal French fearwave. Three Blind Mice is not cheesy at all and has plenty of teeth.
"…gets the blood spilling right away..."