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'Mirrors 2': Don't Look In the Mirror, but Not Because It's Scary

This time the mirror has migrated to New Orleans, the go-to creepy movie destination. Maybe there are other killer mirrors to hang out with, there.

Mirrors 2

Director: Vincent Garcia
Cast: Nick Stahl, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Evan Jones, Chirsty Romano, Stephanie Honore, Lawrence Turner
Distributor: Fox
Rated: Unrated
Release Date: 2010-10-19

That pesky killer mirror is back in Mirrors 2. Even if you aren’t familiar with the 2008 original, you know all you really need to know: there’s a mirror, and by looking at hologram on the DVD box, it’s obvious that it’s intended to be a spooky mirror. A mirror that murders people is one of those concepts that is a little hard to take seriously, like a deadly cell phone, or even a videotape that kills you.

This time the mirror has migrated to New Orleans, the go-to creepy movie destination. Maybe there are other killer mirrors to hang out with, there. Stuck in the middle of some under construction department store, the mirror makes a night watchman eat broken glass even though he doesn’t want to, which makes him understandably sad. The scene is more comical than frightening. His replacement is Max Matheson (Nick Stahl), who has the requisite tormented horror movie past. His fiancé died in a car crash a year earlier.

Technically Max died, too, but only for a little while. Since he came back from the dead, Max has been haunted by horrific visions. At his new job he sees the end result of violent murders before they happen, so of course the police think he’s killing people, though they’re easily swayed. All Max has to do to convince the cops that he’s innocent is give them a mildly indignant speech and they remove him from the list of suspects.

Max has to find out why the mirror is killing people, and how to stop it. Along the way he encounters Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugier), who is looking for her sister who coincidently (or maybe not) went missing from the building where Max now works.

As a title, Mirrors 2 is a bit misleading, since it isn’t only mirrors that can kill people. Any reflective surface is potentially deadly; colanders, puddles, even pizza cutters. Even though Max’s psychiatrist takes special care to hammer home the fact that mirrors are creepy, and that every culture has weird folklore regarding them, they never feel like much of a threat -- no more than a colander, really.

Mirrors 2 takes a lot for granted, like the fact that when Max died and came back he brought something with him from the other side, that he has some intrinsic connection to death. The mythology of this world is built on the backs of all the horror movies that came before it. Unless you’re familiar with at least an overview of the genre, some things may not be entirely clear.

The entire film is an amalgamation of other films. Mirrors 2 has the requisite new-school horror movie look. Every frame is dark and tinted a cool blue, except for the awkward, sepia-toned shots from the mirror’s POV. There are two big centerpiece murders that will be familiar to you. One is straight out of Ghost, while the other gives a nod to Pet Sematary.

Watching the behind the scenes feature on the DVD, you feel director Victor Garcia’s enthusiasm for his film -- it’s palpable. For a minute his excitement is infectious and makes you think the movie is better than it is, but then you remember, no, it's not. There's also an extra that deals in depth with the FX side of things, which is somewhat misguided since the FX aren’t all that hot.

By far the best bonus on the DVD is that it includes Into the Mirror, the film that the Mirrors family is based on. While Mirrors is more of an action film, Mirrors 2 is essentially a watered down remake of the Korean original.

You might want to just skip Mirrors 2 entirely and watch Into the Mirror. While it's not a perfect movie, it contains much more depth than the Americanized version. The characters and plot are developed in much greater detail, and the result is a much better film.


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