January 9, 2023

GENRE | Hayley Law Traps 'Door Mouse' – Stylish Neo-Noir Pulp

"It was a full pack of cigarettes type of night."
Hayley Law Avan Jogia | Door Mouse
Gravitas Ventures / Elevation Pictures
Vancouver native Hayley Law stars in fellow local actor turned filmmaker Avan Jogia's stylish debut feature behind the camera in an indie neo-noir dripping with contemporary pulp. Door Mouse mines gumshoe detective genre fare with a modern gloss (not unlike the 2005 film Brick) for a rathr oddball mystery genre effort.

Law plays a struggling, chain-smoking comic book artist moonlighting at a seedy burlesque club when she starts investigating the disappearances of vulnerable young women in her circle and uncovers a widespread sex trafficking ring. Her eponymous mousy character delivers melodramatic one-liners and sullen voiceover narration with a wryly serious but effective tone.

Filmed in Sudbury, Jogia's script focuses on style and verve with a relatively straightforward unfolding of its mystery involving drug dealers, kidnapping, and sexual slavery before a violent resolution starting back where the crimes all began. Everyone buys into the act with knowing sense of foreboding dread.

Law proves to be a compelling lead aided by Jogia's commitment to his stylized contemporary noir aesthetics despite a low-budget. Door Mouse makes for an altogether grim yet often breezy exercise in film genre conventions while teasing its unsavoury cinematic subject matter and shady underworld characters.

Door Mouse premiered as part of the TIFF 2022 Industry Selections program. It screens at the VIFF Centre and will also be available through digital and video on demand starting January 13th.

More | YVArcade / CBC / Stir / THR

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