There are two things that immediately stand out in “The Mean One.” The first is its dark and dreary visual aesthetic, but not in a particularly good way. A lot of the scenes in the film look like they were heavily de-saturated in post-production. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is when the titular Mean One is first introduced – while the makeup effects, done by Ashleigh Thiel and Tatjana Bluchel, are impressive, the scene’s extreme day-for-night colorization makes it hard to really take in how good they look.
The second obvious thing is the film’s strange sound design. Granted, the digital screener I watched could be different from the one getting released on VOD or in theaters, but the audio throughout “The Mean One” sounds muted and fuzzy. It is extremely distracting and could even make or break the movie for you, depending on how familiar you are with similarly low-budget fare.
Other than these major flaws, nothing else about the movie on a technical level is particularly of note. The script, written by Flip and Finn Kolber, is nowhere near as punchy or smart as it thinks it is, with the most hearty response any joke will get being a light smirk. Every performance the film has to offer is either flat or trying too hard to be campy, and it certainly doesn’t help that the characters only have one distinct trait that they hammer in with every appearance.