Thursday, 2 February 2012

Mirrors 2 (2010)


This dreck is the follow up to Alexandre Aja’s mediocre remake of the 2003 Korean frightfest ‘Into the Mirror’. This was of course the Keither Sutherland vehicle ‘Mirrors’ (2008) an altogether passable piece of entertainment with reasonable acting, a creepy atmosphere of twitchy dread throughout, dark and gory imagery all executed on a nice premise with a nifty twist ending. Unfortunately, terrible writing riddled with inconsistencies, plot holes galore, dodgy dialogue and the stupid idea of a climactic battle with a fucking demon nun hampered it from being at least good.


‘Mirrors 2’ is the second instalment in name only really of an already terminally ill franchise. It is essentially a stand-alone film with little connection to the events of the first movie and it contains little of what made that film watchable. According to the producer Todd Williams, "It uses the idea of the first one as a template, but the movie is actually much closer to the original Korean movie ‘Into the Mirror’ that the first ‘Mirrors’ is based on." What he is getting at is that director Aja rewrote that first feature conceived originally as a direct remake of the Korean film when he came onto the project keeping the basic idea of mirrors and retaining some of its scenes but would do his own take on it with a completely different script. Upped also from a proposed PG-13 rating which he original was in its native homeland to an R one it kept in line with Alexandre Aja’s keenness on gore. However, while Williams makes this claim that ‘Mirrors 2’ is truer to ‘Into the Mirror’ this is still quite a gory affair like Aja’s reworking but also unlike it it has none of the dark stylistic traits that it contained. I also do not remember the Korean movie which is a cool flick being as dull and as un-involving as this pile of dog’s muck.


Max Matheson (Nick Stahl) is recovering from a traumatic accident involving a car crash that killed his fiancée in which he was driving. Having a near death experience, he brought back something with him the ability to see the other side. Have you heard this one before? This curse/gift enables him to be the only person who can see visions of a dead woman in the mirrors of an about to be opened department store The Mayflower which is owned by his father Jack Matheson (William Katt). Max has the job of night security guard there replacing the previous guard who left after suffering a mental breakdown due to a violent supernatural occurrence involving his reflection in a mirror attacking him. Max and his Father’s co-workers all start to die strange and gruesome deaths involving the same circumstances. Max discovers that the dead woman he sees once worked where he does when finding her I.D card. A guiding light (literally) also shows him a missing person’s flyer on a lamppost with her photo on it and it turns out that her name is Eleanor. He saw a woman putting up the flyer when he started work. Calling her number on it, he teams up with Eleanor’s sister Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugier) to solve the mystery of the vengeful spirit’s death. We can see the suspects involved in her demise a mile off.


From reading this synopsis, you have no doubt figured out what you would be in store for if you were to subject yourself to this mind numbingly boring, tedious and predictable, badly paced, run of the mill bottom of the barrel cash in. Part of what made Alexandre Aja’s previous effort an enjoyable mess was its encapsulation of a sinister atmosphere that it generated which totally missing from here comes across just like a flat TV film. The characterization is minimal and the acting suffers for it. Stahl is a rather fine actor who I generally have a lot of time for who was excellent as Roark Jr./Yellow Bastard in Frank Miller’s and Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Sin City’ (2005) looks like he wants to go to sleep having to work with the lack of depth in the screenplay he is paid to work with. The money has to be the only reason he would get involved in this product filmmaking because it certainly does not have anything to do with him impassioned by a script he so enthusiastically believes in. There is zero chemistry between him and Vaugier (who is a very nice piece of eye candy by the way) and the supporting cast are just like one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. 


There is one good stand out kill again in the setting of a bathroom. This is where Amy Smart met her demise in Aja’s movie although here it is in the shower and not the bathtub. Unlike the other murder set-pieces here, it is actually quite well done with a nice display of tits and arse in its lead up. It starts with one of the female employees returning to her apartment oblivious to her reflection staring evilly back at her. While on watch in his work Max sees the employee in one of the department store’s mirrors showing off her boobs then pulling off her head. Titillation and gore combined. This is the ghostly malevolent force warning him of what is going to happen. Then treated to prolonged shots of her lovely naked body getting all wet in the shower the set-up of the sequence begins. 


That one sole positive is all that you are getting though as the rest of it is just blander than bland stuff. We even get the token elderly woman Max’s therapist who also just so happens to be an expert on mirrors babbling on about every clichéd worldwide superstition there is about them. Oh yeah as well that there are two police detectives investigating the murders making the bumbling cop pair in ‘Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers’ (1989) look like true professionals. The thing is they are actually portrayed as serious in this stinker.


Just do not. The only reason worth buying the Blue-ray/DVD 2 disc special edition is for the inclusion of the worthy Korean original. Truly awful.

* out of ****

Dave J. Wilson

©2012 Cinematic Shocks, Dave J. Wilson - All work is the property of the credited author and may not be reprinted or reproduced elsewhere without permission.


4 comments:

  1. I hated it too, but I actually found the original more boring.

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    1. I'm no fan of the first but it had it's moments. This was just complete dreck though. Check out the Korean original.

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  2. Great review. Will definitely avoid this sequel. Thanks for the warning!

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    1. Thanks. The first film was just mediocre so it was only going to go downhill from there with a straight to DVD sequel. If you haven't seen it already watch the Korean original 'Into the Mirror'.

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