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The Mirror (2014)
DVD Released: 5/3/2016
All Ratings out of
Extras: No Extras
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 5/12/2016
Following the re-birth of the "found footage" movie in 1999 with The Blair Witch Project, we have seen many examples of this sub-genre, mostly in the realm of horror. These movies often fall into two categories. We have those which are professionally made, big(ger) budget affairs, such asCloverfield, Chronicle, and the [REC] series. Most of the other ones...well...they look like glorified home movies. Many of these feature a camera, a group of friends, and a bare-bones plot, which is couple with little-to-no action. Movies like Knock Knock 2, Evil Things, and Atrocious certainly fit this bill, and now The Mirror joins this sad group.
The Mirror introduces us to three flatmates -- Matt (Joshua Dickinson) and Jemma (Jemma Dallender), who are a couple, and Steve (Nate Fallows). This trio have decided to enter a contest in which the winner will receive a cash prize if they can document the supernatural. To meet this goal, they have purchased a mirror (Which I can only assume is supposed to be haunted in some way. They never tell us.) and acquired several video cameras. One will be focused on the mirror ’round the clock so that they can monitor its activities, while the three will carry or wear the others in order to document their personal actions. During the first night that the mirror is in the apartment, Matt sleepwalks and discloses that he’s had a history of this. Thus begins a pattern of odd behavior by Matt, about which Jemma and Steve grow more and more concerned.
Some movies walk the fine line of being vague and not wanting to appear unrealistic, with having the characters explain too many of their actions. The Mirror shatters this line as it goes far beyond vague and runs right into “lazy writing” territory. Somehow Writer/Director Ed Boase and story contributor Keidrych Wasley (it took two people to come up with this “story”?) couldn’t find the space to have the characters tell us what in the world is going on here. It would have been very organic to have the group review the specifics of the contest which they want to win. Or, even better, give us a little history on the mirror. It just floored me that they never talked about where the mirror came from or what it was supposed to do. The Mirror does take the time to have Matt confess that he once saw what was apparently the ghost of his grandfather, or to explain his history of sleepwalking. All that this does is nullify any sort of surprise once Matt gets wiggy.
Of course, wiggy is a bit of an exaggeration, as little-to-nothing happens in this movie. Matt broods and gets really blood-shot eyes. Steve and Jemma act concerned and ask a lot of questions. And that’s about all that happens in this movie. We get a lot of awkward “interviews” between the three and some POV shots of people wandering. But, there is very little action here, especially in the first hour, and the story never advances. So, we are left with an 80-something minute movie where three people bicker a lot, doors are closed, and explanations are never given.
As with many movies of this ilk, the sad thing about The Mirror is that this could have easily been a good movie if just one iota of effort was made. Is a haunted mirror cliched? Of course, but the haunted mirror in a horror movie should do at least a little bit of haunting. I kept waiting for something to come out of the mirror or for someone other than Matt to do something, but that was asking too much. In the realm of “found footage” movies, The Mirror really is like a home movie. We watch three people who we don’t know do things that we don’t understand nor care about. You’re better off watching a friend’s vacation videos.
The Mirror never explains how these clearly unemployed individuals afford this apartment on DVD courtesy of Omnibus Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source materials. The movie was clearly shot on the HD cameras shown in the film, as we very crisp and clear images here, which show good colors and depth. The DVD Carries a Dolby Digital 2.0 track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. We get a few nice stereo effects here, most of which highlight sounds coming from off-screen.
The Mirror DVD contains no extra features.
Review Copyright 2016 by Mike Long