19th Jan2018

‘#3Minute Horror: Episode 1 – The Mime’ Review

by Philip Rogers

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A business woman (Amelia Gardham) is walking through an underpass whilst texting, when she accidently drops her bag, spilling the contents onto the floor. As she starts to collect her items, she is suddenly notices a mysterious looking figure is stood front of her, a mime who is copying her every move. Although unsettled, she at first to mock the mime to try and throw him off her movements, but after he continues to perfectly match her every move, she turn her back and decides to walk away. But when she suddenly realises she has forgotten her handbag she is forced to turn back and confront the mime.

It is difficult to build up the tension and create characters who you really care about in three minutes, but director Dan Allen manages to create a simple but extremely effective horror in his new #3Minute Horror short The Mime.

Mixing element of humour which helps to build up the tension, but as the story unfolds it also gives a false sense of security. The film looks to lead the audience on to an obvious conclusion and you can almost second guess how the film will play out, before Dan delivers an unexpected dark and twisted ending which really gets in your head. Horror fans looking for a gruesome and bloody short may want to check out The Mime.

The location for the film is set in an underpass, which is the perfect location for a horror movie, especially for anyone who has seen the ultra-violent “New French Extreme” film Irreversible (2002). Anyone who has walked through the underpass at night will probably have felt the same sense of claustrophobia causing them to look over their shoulder. The dim lighting, dank unpleasant smell and limit exits at either end of the long tunnel makes for an unsettling route. This is represented brilliantly in The Mime, where Amelia Gardham walks through and sees the mime, the exits and civilisation seem a long way away.

Whether you have an irrational fear (although on occasions not so irrational) of street entertainers such as mimes or clowns, there is always something sinister about them. Maybe it’s the concealment of their face or the absurdities of their actions where you never know how they are going to react. Joseph Adelakun draws on this with a intensely disturbing performance as the mime. His face paint and hooded jumper concealing his identity which giving him an ominous look, which is made all the more sinister by his ongoing silence and menacing grin. It may seem like a simple idea, but the execution leaves a lasting impression.

Dan Allen has created an impressive horror with his new short film which has a unique twist, and an effective introduction to a horror character who you wouldn’t want to meet in an underpass when you are alone at night. It is an effective introduction to the #3Minute Horror shorts and although it comes to a great conclusion still leaves you wanting more. I look forward to seeing what he does with the rest of the series and hope to see the Mime return whether it be in another short of possible a longer feature length film.

The Mime is the first episode of the #3Minute Horror series and is available to watch now on http://YouTube.com/DanAllenFilms

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