Big trouble is brewing within the quaint neighborhoods of a small town. A deranged serial killer is on the prowl, leaving a trail of embalmed bodies for police to discover. Local reporter Alexis Kelly (Leila Scott) finds herself inadvertently entangled in the killer’s sinister plot. The revelations that follow turn her entire life into a waking nightmare.

Indie horror films are always a novel treat, as filmmakers often dabble with ideas most mainstream titles might not dare touch. And to an extent, director Colin Bressler succeeds by attempting to introduce some welcome twists to the genre. At 87 minutes long, the feature wastes no time introducing the murderer and unmasking them in almost no time at all. This decision ultimately proves a smart one, as Bressler can forget about the who and focus on the how and why, questions that are far more compelling given the relatively small scope of the film.

The scene is set inside a little cafe, as Alexis is joined at her table by a mysterious man named Joe (Jason Scarbrough). Slowly but surely, they begin to engage in a morbid conversation. It’s a verbal battlefield that holds serious real-life consequences for both parties involved. It’s best likened to a bullfight, with the roles reversing every so often. Scarbrough plays his role with a campy edge but succeeds best when he’s assuming the role of the matador. Poking, proding, and waving a red flag in the face of Scott’s Alexis with an unflinchingly cold demeanor. Scarbrough pulls off the dead-eyed, smooth-talking persona very well in these instances, but perhaps less so when he’s the one doing most of the talking. Scott is more than up to the task herself, portraying a woman who’s faced with impossible decisions and even more questions. Interestingly enough, the most distressing parts of the story come not from the actions – but from the narration.

Bressler proved he can more than handle a gritty, stripped-down story with his previous work on No Promised Land. Confusingly, none of that technical prowess seems to be present here in The Mummy Murders. The camera is steady, gliding effortlessly through corridors, and shots are lit to be as bright as they possibly can be. It’s all too clean. Too polished. It’s missing that extra atmospheric punch necessary to instill a sense of dread. Never is this more clear than in the flashback sequences used to illustrate Joe’s troubled past. These are harrowing segments that lack the right composition to sear themselves into the viewer’s mind. In that same vein, the opening also falls flat, with no tangible tension thanks to uncharacteristically mundane camerawork.

If not for its lacking horror elements, The Mummy Murders would be a perfectly digestible thriller that attempts to dissect the mind of a madman. If you enjoy serial killer stories with drama aplenty, Scott and Scarbrough’s great chemistry will see you through The Mummy Murders, but don’t expect to be remotely terrified in any way.




Big trouble is brewing within the quaint neighborhoods of a small town. A deranged serial killer is on the prowl, leaving a trail of embalmed

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