Movie Review - The Mirror
Now available on Netflix is writer-director Edward Boase's The Mirror, which is based on a 2013 news article about a supposedly haunted mirror that brings illness, bad luck and supernatural sightings to those who possess it. The trouble is, the entire film seems dangerously close to Mike Flanagan's 2006 short film, Oculus, and it's 2013 feature length adaptation. I'm certainly not saying that The Mirror is a rip-off, but the timing of its' release right on the heels of Oculus makes it hard not to draw comparison. And unfortunately, The Mirror does not stack up. There are a few moments where the film shines, but they are few and far between. For my money, I would skip this one and watch Oculus instead.
Three flatmates decide to enter a Paranormal Challenge by purchasing a haunted mirror online in the hopes of winning one million dollars. They hang the mirror in the living room and set up a camera to record everything. Seemingly, nothing happens, until one of them begins sleepwalking and acting extremely strange. And somehow, the camera keeps turning itself off.
The cast seems extremely talented, though aside from a few tense scenes, they aren't given much room to stretch their legs. Though they manage to make the characters believable and the film feel grounded, despite the narrative's short-comings. I actually applaud writer-director Edward Boase, as the film is not without it's merits. There is one scene in particular that is completely shocking and shows the director's ability to build tension and create genuine scares, but he waits to long to reveal his hand and the film ends up feeling lackluster. Additionally, I didn't find the found footage style added anything to the film, whereas other recent film makers have found ways to make the approach much more interesting. Regardless of the film's hits or misses though, its' main flaw was its' similarities to Oculus and the fact that both films were released so close to one another. The film is available on Netflix, though I wouldn't recommend it. I do look forward to seeing more work from Edward Boase as I feel he has a ton of potential, though this one is forgettable. Cheers.
- Leo Francis