DVD. Arrow Films
Mirror has taken five years to get a UK release, and
to be honest, I’m not surprised. It’s not so much
that it’s a terrible film – it’s just
a very disposable one.
Lisa Vidal plays Debbie, a woman who moves into a new house with
her bland husband Jim (David Chisum) and perpetually frightened
and downright weird kid Ian (Joshua Pelegrin). The house used
to belong to a famous artist who disappeared along with his entire
family, and immediately odd things start to happen – things
that only Debbie, a photographer (and so another artist, you see)
seems to notice. She has odd hallucinations, and seems to be stalked
by a mysterious hooded figure. What’s more, everyone she
photographs – from a sleazy ad agency employee she met while
looking for work to the crazy old Chinese lady across the street
to the next door neighbour (Christine Larkin) who is seemingly
in the film to walk around in tight tops or skimpy bikinis (but
is far too annoying to actually be sexy) start to disappear.
Dark Mirror can’t decide if it is a psychological
story about a woman losing her mind or a genuinely supernatural
tale, and so rather clumsily tries to be both. Perhaps inevitably,
it ends up not really working as either, with whatever interest
you might have built up in one aspect of the tale being undermined
by a sudden switch in tone. Had the film thrown out the genuine
ghost story aspect, it might well have been a lot better, because
the psychological story is far more effective than the rather
hackneyed ghost story.
Vidal does a good job in a fairly thankless role, acting her socks
off to bring a sense of quality to proceedings, and it’s
down to her that the film isn’t a disaster. Unfortunately,
the rest of the characters are so thinly drawn and clichéd
that she gets no help from anyone else, and much of the film feels
like padding. There might be an interesting short in this, but
at 82 minutes, it feels very long.
In the end, one gory moment aside, this has the feel and pacing
of an inferior television movie, and while a passable timewaster,
there is nothing here that feels very original, memorable or effective.
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