Door Mouse uses its unwavering comic book noir aesthetic to tell a story about missing girls and the heroes who save them. It’s indies like this one that emphasize the importance of giving independent storytellers with an artistic vision a chance to tell you a story in a different way.
Door Mouse has a lot of bad guys and not many heroes. It’s a dark and dangerous world these characters live in. Writer and director Alan Jogia plays one of the bad guys, Mooney.
The lead character is Mouse (don’t call her Door Mouse), played by Hayley Law. She’s a comic book writer who works in a seedy club at night as a dancer/whatever for the few paying customers. (Donal Logue plays one of the customers.) The action in the film is sometimes drawn like one of her comic books, but is most often live actors.
Mama (Famke Janssen) owns the bar. The girls who work there look to her for protection. When Doe Eyes (Nhi Do) fails to show up for work, nobody gets very worried about it except Mouse.
Ugly (Keith Powers) hangs around Mouse. He offers to go with her the next day to check on Doe Eyes. When they get to her apartment, it looks like she’s been taken.
They follow some clues and decide maybe Doe Eyes is being used in a weird sex club housed in a famous old hotel run by The Dame (Elizabeth Saunders). Mouse and Ugly can’t figure out how to get inside the club.
Then another girl, Riz (Michela Cannon), disappears. By now, Mouse is ready to take desperate measures to get inside the hotel and look for her friends. Three individual people in her life warn her that she’s digging into something dangerous. She decides she’d rather do the dangerous thing than take the easy way out.
As Mouse becomes a heroine, she learns a few sad lessons about the flawed nature of the human race and the horrible things people are willing to do.
The strength of this film is the commitment to the noir aesthetic in appearance, in dialog, and the actors delivery of that dialog. The look of the film is very “comic book” with close ups of eyes, or small details like a hand ringing a bell. When the camera moves away for a wider view, the screen is full of multitudes of details.
This film isn’t a must see or meant for everyone, but someone who loves noir mysteries and/or comic books is going to enjoy it.
Door Mouse is streaming on Hulu.