Friends Russell (Taylor Piedmonte) and Duane (Allen Maldonado) attend a horror film convention. While there they are invited to a late night party at a remote farm. The next morning they wake up along with a smattering of other guests dressed in strange, almost 1960’s-like clothing, unsure of what happened or what is going on. Outside are a gaggle of strange figures that could zombies. Is what is happening real, the undead walking the earth looking for living flesh to devour? Or is it just a game, a form of real life role-play taken several steps way too far?
Mimesis should be awesome. The concept, while a bit too Scream-like at times, is a great one, a group of strangers awaking to the growing realization they’re being forced to reenact George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead for real a movie in which no central human character actually survives. Just thinking about it makes me giggle uncontrollably inside, part of me in utter disbelief no one has presented this concept within a low budget horror film before.
Problem is, great idea aside Mimesis is a boring, thoroughly unpleasant slog that’s frightfully difficult to sit through all the way until the end. Director and co-writer Douglas Schulze, while showcasing a keen eye for atmosphere, and fellow writer Joshua Wagner simply do not deliver on the promise inherent to the scenario, everything falling apart pretty much right from the get-go.
The characters are thin sketches making whether or not they live or die a question not worthy of an answer. The reasons behind all the mayhem are simplistic and much too juvenile. The foreshadowing taking place during the convention (featuring a rather nice cameo from Sid Haig) is heavy-handed and obvious. The climax is rote and without anything close to a surprise.
All which makes any chance the movie would have has to work virtually negligible, everything inside the flick working against itself at almost every turn. Add to that performances that are across the board wooden and one-dimensional coupled with pacing that’s two steps slower than lethargic and Mimesis is nothing less than a severely disappointing mess, and by the time it was over I was almost angry at myself for requesting a Blu-ray screener in the first place.
But only almost. I’d be lying if I didn’t say certain portions, most notably the sequences where the party guests are initially waking up to the circumstances of their predicament, didn’t arouse my interest, and while I did continually wish Schulze would get one with it much of the time he does have an eye for macabre detail I definitely admired. That said, however, Mimesis never does make the grade, proving a great idea alone is not enough to guarantee a movie equal to it.
Mimesis is presented on a single-layer 25GB Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 2.35:1 1080p transfer.
This Blu-ray features an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack and includes optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
The only included extra is an Audio Commentary with co-writer/director Douglas Schulze and co-writer Joshua Wagner. The pair actually offer up a fairly interesting and informative track making me wish the movie would have added up to more than it actually did, their mutual affection and excitement in regards to the scenario palpable. Annoying side tangent? They continually talk about ‘deleted scenes’ from the film (some of which, at least from the description, might have helped the dramatic elements – emphasis on ‘might’), deleted scenes that are not actually present on the Blu-ray, and for my part I was annoyed that I kept having to hear the pair talk about them when I knew I wouldn’t be actually seeing any with my own eyes.
Mimesis offers up a great concept (even if Scream went down this road in 1996), the opening moments of the Night of the Living Dead recreation kind of wonderful. But it all goes downhill remarkably fast, the movie a poorly paced, lazily acted bore that rarely scares, never shocks and doesn’t build to a conclusion that’s even minutely worthwhile. Even for diehard genre fans, watching this film start to finish is going to be an annoyingly tough slog.