13 February 2012

Guest Review - Amanda: Mulberry Street

(Amanda kindly agreed to write a guest review for the blog this week. She runs an excellent horror blog called Mandy's Morgue of Horror that you must check out here!!)

Rats. Not only do they look disgusting but in the 2007 horror, Mulberry Street, they are cause for a zombie virus that overtakes Manhattan. I pray to God that this never happens.

The film, which was a part of After Dark Films Horrorfest, follows a group of tenants who have just been evicted from their apartment building located on Mulberry Street. To make matters worse, the poor homeless bastards begin to realize that the city is falling apart around them and people are beginning to become violent.

Slowly, things around the city begin to unravel and shut down as reported attacks come pouring in. News reports play in the background, informing residents that rats have been attacking people unexpectedly. It’s only a matter of time before the rat attacks make their way to the soon to be extinct apartment building where our protagonists reside.

The building’s landlord gets bitten by a rat hiding in the boiler room and he starts to notice changes in his appearance as the infection builds inside of him. But does he go to the hospital or say anything? No. Um, I’m sorry but if a diseased-ridden rodent bites me, I’m going to the hospital and pumping my veins with rabies shots and anything else that will prevent me from getting sick. The people in this movie clearly aren’t that concerned about their health. Then again, if they were, we probably wouldn’t have a movie to watch.

Anyway, in the midst of all the rat attacks, the daughter of one of the tenants is on her way home from serving in the war. While on her journey, she experiences the madness that is occurring first hand as she is thrown in the middle of all the violence.

As the virus takes over the city, the tenants seek refuge in their apartment building, trying their best to fight off anyone who has been infected. Soon, they realize that the best way to fight off the infected is through the use of light, i.e. a camera. Eventually, the safe haven becomes overrun as well, resulting in a full on battle between good and evil. Only the strong survive as they fight not only to save their humanity, but their home as well.

Technically, this film isn’t a zombie movie. The infection is spread by dirty rats and in turn the individuals who fall victim to the disease turn into rat-people. These rat-people act like zombies, attacking and eating whoever they can land their hands on. They’re fast and they have not only a good sense of smell and sight, but they can also hear their prey very well too.

I thought the overall concept for the film is very interesting and creative; the filmmakers took an old idea and revamped it in their own way. Although the individuals in the film aren’t exactly zombies, the virus is spread similarly to the way a zombie virus is spread: through a bite. The events that take place in the horror are what audiences should expect to see in a traditional zombie movie, just through a different host.

Although the special effects aren’t overly terrifying and amazing, the aspect that I found scary was the idea that a creature, which can be found anywhere you go, is spreading a disease to people. The movie played on the fear of how quickly a situation can get out of hand and it made me wonder how they would stop an infestation of infected rats in the first place. It would probably be extremely difficult.

I enjoyed the grittiness of the atmosphere and the performances by the actors made the film seem a whole lot more real. The dark colors that the director used for each shot helped to build a sense of dread and anticipation of what was to come.

It was interesting to have the foreshadowing of the eventual chaos with the news reports playing in the background and I enjoyed seeing how the infection began to spread from person to person. It was cool to see one person in the bar become sick after being bit by a person and then get to see how that individual spreads it on to more people. The buildup was nicely done and while all of this is occurring, our protagonists in the apartment building are pretty oblivious as to how badly the situation is becoming.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the storyline involving the war veteran daughter; it just bored me a little bit and I was really more interested in the people living on Mulberry Street. I guess by showing the daughter, the audience was given a bigger view of just how bad the infection was spreading but I still didn’t like it. It would have been even creepier if we were kept in the dark as much as the characters in the apartment.

Overall, I would say that this movie was worth a watch but I wouldn’t go into the film with extremely high expectations. The concept behind the film is a new and creative take on the zombie genre but zombie fans may be a little disappointed in the lack of zombie action. The film is fairly quick; the infection begins immediately, spreading from person to person, eventually overtaking the busy city of Manhattan. Although it is quick in getting the virus started, it is simultaneously slow as it shows how the infection spreads, which I found to be really interesting.

I think that a lot of people are hard on the film and I’ve even heard some people say it was HORRIBLE, however, I think that’s completely untrue. Is the movie a cinematic masterpiece? No. Is it a different take on the zombie genre? Yes. Give it a chance and you might like what you see.


  1. Mandy

    Thank you for your guest post, really interesting to get another perspective from a fellow horror fan. I think we all have a similar opinion on this film and it seems to be that we could have all done without the daughter's storyline!

    I think getting bitten by a zombie rat and not going to a doctor is up there with going to check what that noise in the woods is when your friends have been missing for a few hours!

    Thanks again, and I look forward to future guest spots if you are interested! Maybe one week you can set the film to review.


  2. Thank you for giving me the opportunity; it was fun. I wouldn't mind doing another one in the future as well!


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