Mute Witness - * * 1/2*

A thriller with good doses of satire and wit. An American slasher film is shooting in low-budget Moscow, when the mute makeup artist witnesses a real murder when two of the Russian crewmen film a snuff film in the studio at night. The first half of the film starts as a moderately successful parody, watching the American crew shoot their film using many of the cliches typical of horror films. However, after the murder, the movie treads a bit too close to imitating the movies it so recently satirized. Luckily, halfway through, the plot changes course…things are no longer as simple as they seemed, and no one knows whom to trust. The lead actress, Marina Sudina, does a good job, although she has no lines. Her concerned sister, and her brother-in-law, the American director, are simply broad based caricatures. The direction makes a few misteps, but it ultimately never loses its balance.

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