Mute Witness
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -3 1/2

MUTE WITNESS is a thrill-seeking tale of an American film crew that encounters murder and the Russian Mafia while filming a low budget slasher film in Moscow. The lead character, Billie Hughes (Marina Sudina), can hear but cannot speak. When she returns to the set after hours, she witnesses the gruesome murder of a woman in a snuff film. These are films where hopeful actors are lured to perform as victims, not knowing that the action is real. Billie fails to convince police the killing was not just a staged action with fake blood and a collapsing knife. No one except her sister (Fay Ripley), the wife of the American director, Randy (Evan Richards), believes her because the killers burned the victim's body and all other physical evidence. MUTE WITNESS'special effects heighten the hysteria and fright elements. When the mute Billie tries to scream, the terror increases as the camera zeroes in on her contorted face and wild eyes which vividly convey her panic. It all works to make this an eerie and wickedly frightening film, which will keep viewers riveted.

Included in this nonstop thrill ride are repulsive and heart-wrenching jolts. For example, the vicious murder and rape Billie witnesses includes graphic breast nudity, as well as uncensored and repetitive stabbing. This scene of violence and nudity creates the film's sick and deeply disturbing premise as viewers see it again and again in Billie's flashbacks. Complete frontal and rear female nudity is also shown when Billie is taking a bath and trying to get the attention of a peeping Tom. MUTE WITNESS is just one palpitating chase scene after another with people dropping like flies throughout. Whether it's from point blank gunshot wounds to the head, electrocution, stabbing or being blown up, they all seem destined to die. That level of violence combined with the nudity and obscenities takes this film right to the gutter. It's a film full of gore and filth to be avoided at all costs.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Flr, NY, NY 10022

Summary
Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild
Obscene Language: Several (5) times - F-word 1, s-word 4
Profanity: Few (2) times - Regular 1 (GD), Exclamatory 1
Violence: Many times - Severe (rape, brutal stabbings, woman slapped, woman tied to bed, blood splattering on walls, electrocution, shots to head and chest, hit with chair, fall down stairs, car explodes w/ body, fall from building)
Sexual Intercourse: Once but repeated in flashbacks (rape with breast and side nudity)
Nudity: Many times - (full rear and frontal female nudity, breast nudity)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Woman in bath to attract voyeur
Drug Abuse: Several times (alcohol from flask, cigarette smoking)
Other: None
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)