Directed by Anthony Waller [Other horror films: An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), Nine Miles Down (2009)]
This is a pretty mixed ride, and much of that due to the fact the film sort of switches up genres toward the end, going from a tense slasher-esque flick to an almost black comedy/crime movie.
That’s not entirely fair, though – the comedy, most of it black, wasn’t terrible, but given the first two-thirds of the film, I thought it was going a bit far. It’s going from horror to crime that bothered me, and although it made sense story-wise, I didn’t care for the shift.
Most of the movie is quite suspenseful. A long chase scene as a mute woman attempts to outwit two people who she saw murder someone. That sequence, especially the ending, was well-done, and the follow-up scene was too an elongated, albeit more peaceful, sequence, wrought with both confusion and frustration.
There wasn’t a bunch of gore here, but what there was ended up being fine. The biggest selling point, by far, is the suspense anyway, which the film does really well. But the last third of the film felt a lot like a crime movie, and the triumphant ending doesn’t erase the distaste I rather had of that portion.
Russian actress Marina Zudina (who is somewhat well-known in her home country) does really well here, playing a mute character in a rather dangerous situation. Fay Ripley and Evan Richards, though, contributed most of the black comedy, and like I said, I could have done without that addition. Really, Zudina should get the most props, by far – her performance here is excellent.
I like a lot of things about this movie. Like I said, the slasher-portion of the film is tense as hell, and until the movie shifts to a crime-feel, the movie was on it’s way to a way above average score. As it is, the final thirty minutes really didn’t do much for me, so while I still recommend the film, especially for 90’s horror, I wouldn’t call Mute Witness amazing.
3 thoughts on “Mute Witness (1995)”
I have good memories with this one, more due “how” I got to see this film than the film itself: the movie is good. Pretty fun stuff if one likes it simple, but what made this film memorable is that I got this as a reward/Christmas present from a boss from a previous job for doing swell on my metrics.
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I can certainly see why that’d allow it to stick out more in your mind. I’ve gotten some free movies in the past as gifts, though not too many of them were great (aside from Battle Royale), so it’s always nice to find a decent movie in such an unexpected way.