In hope of getting his hands on the famed diamond known as the Codix Stone, Jack Wells joins a group of archaeologists out to explore a newly discovered tomb in Egypt, that of the cursed king Neferu. When the Mummy of the king returns from the dead seeking human victims, Jack is in for the most horrifying experience of his life.
Found footage. It’s a method of storytelling that has become all too popular in the past few years thanks to movies like The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, and the Paranormal Activity series. Many horror movies use it as a crutch to try and immerse the audience into the action that is unfolding before their eyes. Having a movie play out through a first-person point of view can make it feel like the audience is a character in the movie. The format has gotten a little stale, however, and filmmakers are always trying to find new ways to make a found footage style of movie more interesting.
Day of the Mummy is another movie made in a format similar to found footage. I’m not entirely sure I would call it found footage as someone was probably recording it onto a computer the entire time, but it still plays out in a first person point of view. Treasure hunter Jack Wells (William McNamara) is hired by Carl (Danny Glover) to seek out the Codix Stone. The only way to do that is to enter the cursed tomb of Neferu. While in there, Jack Wells and his team of academics stumble upon danger in the form of a resurrected mummy.
The first person action in Day of the Mummy is rather unique. Sure, it’s mostly just the view from the glasses that Jack Wells wears, which was done in movies such as VHS prior to this one. But there’s still enough to the view to make it feel fresh. That comes in the form of the layout of what we see. There are a few small details added to what the viewing lens that make it stand out to the audience.
These little differences make the screen look very much like a 90s videogame HUD. There are lines that frame the view through the glasses making it look more like a viewing screen than facial accessory. The biggest thing making the looking glass feel like a 90s videogame is Danny Glover who frequently appears in the bottom left corner. Sometimes he is there to oversee what is happening to Jack and his team. Other times, he interjects with his own thoughts, observations, and commands. The way he comes in and out of the screen is reminiscent of a Command and Conquer screen where one of the characters appears to tell the player something. It is very video game like and something that I haven’t seen much of in movies before.
As for the rest of the movie, Day of the Mummy is standard horror fare told from a first person point of view. A bunch of characters are put into a precarious situation that leads them to their untimely deaths. Nothing all that interesting is done with the concept. It plays out exactly like every other movie of this type that has been made in recent years. The only real difference is that there are characters who manage to keep themselves alive, which is something that doesn’t happen too often in found footage style movies.
Other than that, the movie covers exactly the same territory that has been covered by many movies that came before it, and it doesn’t bring enough to the table to make it all that interesting.
For a movie made in the found footage style and without any interesting additions to the storytelling method, Day of the Mummy is still a semi-entertaining movie. The characters interact well with one another, and when the resurrected mummy reveals itself, the action is fairly well done. For a low budget, first person point of view movie, that is. It was an entertaining hour and a half of horror that I don’t regret watching in any way whatsoever.
There are big problems with it, and many people would disagree with me about the entertainment value in it, but I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed Jack Wells and his exploits.