I’ve no real memories of young French director Alexandre Aja’s “Mirrors” from 2008. All I remember is that my pal Ronny (who played “Beef” in Brian Yuzna’s “Faust”) ate a shitload of candy during the screening, that Kiefer Sutherland played the lead as a night watch, that Amy Smart got nekkid and died a violent death in a bath tub, that I didn’t realize until the final scene that it’s based on the Korean movie “Into the Mirror” (which I’ve seen, but don’t remember either), and that Ronny said “Well, it sure wasn’t short…” about the over-long movie when we left the theater. I don’t think I reviewed the movie anywhere, but I found it boring, bad and way, way too long. But I didn’t tell that to young monsieur Aja when I had dinner with him about a month later. He turned out to be a vegetarian and doesn’t drink alcohol. Bummer.
Like so many other reasonably successful genre movies, “Mirrors” has now gotten itself a sequel made straight for the DVD market. It’s however Twentieth Century Fox’s Home Entertainment branch that’s behind it, meaning that even if it’s a “low-budget” movie (I don’t know what it cost, but I bet it was a couple of million dollars more than real low-budget horror movies cost), it’s rather classy technically speaking and basically looks like a theatrical release.
Nick Stahl from “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” plays Max, who’s fiance died in a car accident when Max was driving and didn’t keep his eyes on the road. One year later he still has psychological problems and sees weird things that aren’t there.
Max’s dad, played by William Katt from “The Greatest American Hero”, needs a new night watch for his museum and hires his son. The museum is crammed with mirrors – and Max imagines he’s seeing a scary looking woman in them, looking back at him from the other side.
Some of the employees at the museum are found brutally murdered, as if they’ve committed really bizarre suicides or had extreme freak accidents. We do of course know better, since we’ve seen how ghosts in the mirrors kill them.
Max joins up with hottie Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugier from “Painkiller Jane”), who’s sister has disappeared. Max suspects it’s the sister who’s haunting the mirrors and they become aware of the dark secrets of the museum…
Watching “Mirrors 2” is a rather painless experience. It runs about 90 minutes and unlike the original movie, it never gets boring. As one tend to say: this is a pretty “okay” movie. Not very interesting, but competently made in most aspects. It’s professionally made. It never becomes very thrilling or scary, among other things because the ghosts and shocks appear too often – a common problem in horror of today. The effect is outweighed.
The movie contains a scene in which a naked chick is decapitated while taking a shower. Bonus points for that scene.
Among director Víctor Gárcia’s earlier efforts is the direct-to-DVD sequel “Return to House on Haunted Hill”, which wasn’t very good. I notice he’s also directed a weird thing that’s in post-production right now: “Hellraiser: Revelations”, which will go straight to DVD sometime during 2011. Doug Bradley isn’t in it and according to the IMDb, the budget is only $300.000 (!). Is this really correct?
The DVD sleeve screams “Unrated”, but that’s the only version released where I live. I don’t know if there’s any other version released elsewhere in the world, but I guess the word “unrated” attracts the blood-thirsty audience. The movie promises sex and violence. Well, we do get tits and entrails. But Gárcia’s movie isn’t one for the horror hall of fame. My memories of it are already fading.