In 2011 director Douglas Schulze unleashed Mimesis: Night Of The Living Dead, a low budget horror which took George Romero’s Night Of The living Dead and remixed it. The plot saw a group of demented horror fans using the plot of Romero’s classic to murder unsuspecting victims. Schulze’s film was a meta-take on the zombie genre (and horror films in general) which used Romero’s film because it was in the public domain. For the 2018 follow-up, Schulze has decided to tackle the daddy of all horror films: F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu.
Mimesis: Nosferatu is far from a remake of Murnau’s 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula – this is a whole new beast which blends the high school elements of the teen slasher flick with the iconic expressionist visual stylings of Murnau’s vampire film. The plot sees a Dramatic Arts school mounting a stage performance of Nosferatu, but unbeknownst to them, a group of Count Orlock inspired cult members (led by Lance Henriksen’s ‘Auteur’) have a few bite-sized surprises in store.
Horror movies tend to overlook character development and focus on the scares, but Schulze and writer Jeff Meyers have crafted a film which works as much as a high-school drama as it does a horror film. Julie Kline puts in good work as the understudy who scores one the play’s key roles when the lead actress suffers a contact lens related injury (ouch!) and Connor Alexander is also well cast as the mysterious new kid at school who may or may not be involved in the blood-sucking cult. Meanwhile Allen Maldonado returns from the first Mimesis, as a Van Helsing-like character who has been tracking the cult’s crimes.
Littered with references to vampire movie lore, Mimesis: Nosferatu has plenty of easter eggs to keep genre fans entertained. There’s also a few little nods to Michael Lehmann’s Heathers as our main characters decide to tackle the school’s bullies. You can tell that this is a film made my people who are passionate about genre films.
Schulze’s film really comes into its own in the last act, when The Auteur’s grand plan comes together. This is when the film hits its visual and atmospheric peak, something which is aided by an impressive score by Chuck Cirino. This means the Mimesis: Nosferatu ends on a high note, and there’s a wonderful little tease for what is to come in the third instalment of the Mimesis franchise. This is one to watch.