From the same company that gave us Mary Had A Little Lamb comes yet another nursery rhyme inspired shocker, Three Blind Mice. This one certainly starts off much better, its prologue providing more in the way of scares and effects than all the previous film. It also features a death by swarming mice that’s as unintentionally amusing as anything in Bruno Mattei’s Rats: A Night of Terror.
That abruptly shifts to Abi (May Kelly, Curse of Humpty Dumpty 2, The Nutcracker Massacre) having an angry confrontation with her parents Jude (Lynne O’Sullivan, Return of Punch and Judy) and Keith (Keith Eyles, The Shadow of Bigfoot, Apocalyptic Horror) over her drug usage.
Unable to deal with it themselves they’ve called in a professional, Cara (Helen Fullerton, Curse of Jack Frost, Just One Blood) who suggests the family stage an intervention in a remote cabin. So along with her brother Mark (Karl Hughes, Small Creatures, Mega Lightning) and friend Lara (Lila Lasso, Dragon Fury: Wrath of Fire, The Area 51 Incident) they head to the woods.
Director Pierre B and writer David Malcolm are both making their feature length debuts on Three Blind Mice, and they take a predictable enough path to getting everyone to the middle of nowhere and with phone or signal. I’m always surprised at how easily people hand over their phones in these movies, and this is no exception. If I was going to be stuck in a cabin where I had nothing to do and nobody knew where I was, you’d have to pry the phone from my cold, dead fingers.
You may want to keep your phone handy though, because there’s a fair amount of familiar and not very well written dialogue to get through before things pick up again. For what are supposed to be concerned friends and family members, nobody seems to like each other. And, as is the case in films like this, they spend much of their time snapping over everything from whether Abi wants help to Keith’s inability to quit smoking.
Eventually, the Three Blind Mice of the title show up. They’re a trio of human/mouse hybrids developed in a now abandoned secret lab that happens to be nearby. They’re actors in fairly creepy looking masks and prosthetics designed by Rebecca Wheeler (The Siege, Wolf Garden) rather than CGI for a change, although the mouse army they command and the fire effects at the end very obviously originated in a computer. There’s a good bit more gore here, the mutants have a thing for torture, and it’s practical as well, though of varying quality.
For a film about human mice, as opposed to mousy humans, Three Blind Mice takes itself a bit too seriously. This would probably have been better off if the filmmakers had played into the ridiculousness of the creatures and served things up with a large helping of cheese. We do have a scene where one of the creatures uses a crossbow, but examples of that kind of weirdness are few and far between.
Three Blind Mice isn’t truly bad as a straight horror, the scenes of them stalking people through the woods and underground lab are certainly acceptable. And it helps that they look a bit like giant versions of the gnomes from Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark in some scenes. But the idea was just too silly for me to really take it seriously, despite an effort to give it a scientific backstory.
But this is a Scott Jeffrey (Jack & Jill: The Hills of Hell, Beneath the Surface) film, so you have to be thankful for small mercies. There was obviously a bit of money spent on the effects, and the cast and crew do good jobs with what they have to work with, something that can’t be said for a lot of what he’s churned out. If you just want some sort of creature feature, Three Blind Mice may do the job if you’re in the right mood. But it missed a chance to be something a bit different and a lot better.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Three Blind Mice on DVD as well as Digital Platforms on October 17th.