Friday, October 23, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Day 23

Mulberry St.
Jim Mickle

In a rundown Manhattan tenement building, the residents are battling a heatwave that is overpowering the city. The electricity usage is through the roof, and the power grid can’t keep up. That night in sweltering heat, the news is reporting, unrest and violence. Is the heat getting to everyone? To make matters worse, the building seems to be infested with rats. Eerily smart little monsters who like to bite. The rats’ bite carries with it a nasty surprise. There is a blackout and reports of the city being put under quarantine by the military. The apartment dwellers find themselves boarding up the building from the menaces outside and trapping themselves with something even worse inside.

Mulberry St. is a tense bit of low budget horror that makes the most use out of its limited surroundings. Unable to show what’s happening in the outside world for budgetary reasons, we are instead fed a slow drip of information that things are not well. The heat and the rundown nature of the building heighten the tension considerably. Although in structure, Mulberry St. is pretty much a zombie film, the creators tweak the monsters just enough to create something unexpected. The pacing is almost perfect with nearly half the film devoted to introducing us to the characters and slowly tightening up the tension until the situation explodes and becomes a relentless assault on the survivors. Mulberry St. looks like the kind of film that would be easy to pass by, but you would really be missing out on something interesting if you did.

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