Netflix Roulette: The Mirror

I know, you probably thought you had seen the last of me… but, like any horror movie (I was going to say “any good horror movie” and then I realized this happens in every horror movie ever, regardless of its quality), I come back to terrorize my victims. I kind of like referring to my readers as victims… honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m victimizing you… especially if you’ve taken some of my recommendations to heart (I’m sure I haven’t heard the last from disappointed readers in regards to The Honeymoon and Starry Eyes (though I still stand by both)). All joking a salad (look it up), I’m glad to be back. I don’t really have a great excuse for being gone for so long. I mean, yes, I was busy (I helped out with my girlfriend’s conference, then we took a vacation, and in the last couple of weeks I’ve been preparing for the upcoming semester), but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have time to watch a few movies and right them up. In the end, I think I just needed to walk away from my experiment for a bit… I had lost the joy and it started feeling a bit like a chore or a job. I’m feeling refreshed, though, and ready to end out of the summer strong, with a few more write-ups. So, what does that mean about the future of the blog… well, all I can say is that there will be a future. There are a ton of interesting horror movies coming out this fall (I’ll be sharing some of those trailers with you in the upcoming days) and I can’t wait to share my thoughts about them. The rest is unknown… maybe I’ll still play a bit of Netflix Roulette, revisit some classics, and do some other stuff in between watching the new stuff. I just can’t promise that I’ll have something for you every day… but I’ll do my best. Finally, I’ve been debating about changing the title of the blog… but, hey, what’s in a name?

Now, let’s get to the real reason you’re all reading this blog. I’m sure you can’t wait to hear my thoughts on The Mirror. The first thing I need to say is that I watched this movie before my hiatus… so, needless to say, it’s not very fresh for me. That being said, there are several things about this movie that will stay with me for as long as I live… and not in a good way (and by “in a good way” I mean in terms of a horror film… in other words, haunting)… this movie is… dumb… I really can’t think of a more descriptive or accurate word… maybe insulting… that’s not quite right either… insulting conveys a sense of intention and I think to say that the filmmaker intended anything is giving him way too much credit (so, apparently, taking a month off hasn’t made me more Zen about watching horrible horror movies). Okay, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let me back up and give you the basic premise for this stupid, stupid movie (you know what… maybe this movie is entirely to blame for my having to take a month off… breathe Adam, breathe). Three flatmates (I use to term since the movie takes place in England) purchase a purportedly haunted mirror off of eBay (dumb) in hopes of capturing some evidence of paranormal activity on film (dumb). Their motivation is the James Randi Foundation’s Paranormal Challenge which offers a million dollar prize to anyone who can prove that something is paranormal in nature (this is a real thing, by the way). A slight amount of (dumb) mayhem ensues.

The most important thing to mention right off the bat is that this is a found-footage film and, not surprisingly, this is its major weakness. It suffers from nearly every flaw of the sub-genre. Really, the only thing it gets right is the fact that there is no soundtrack… I would say that this adds to the realism of the film… but there simply isn’t an ounce of real anywhere to be found in this misbegotten “film” (by the way, this is seriously the closest thing to something nice that I will have to say about this movie, so if you don’t want to read me rip this movie apart, then I’ll see you tomorrow). Really, the only unforgivable problem with the movie (I’ll get to the forgivable flaw shortly) is that there is no earthly reason why the characters would keep the cameras rolling after a certain part in the film (I won’t say exactly what happens, but if you watched (I’m sorry that this happened to you) or are planning on watching (don’t be a dum-dum) this film you know what I’m referring to). Even worse, it doesn’t even try to justify it… not even a throw-away line of exposition… I guess it’s counting on its viewers to be dumb enough not to question it. The only thing I can think is that the flatmates are still banking on the money (see what I did there?), but there are two problems with this. First, the prize isn’t mentioned again after minute thirty. Second, this simply goes against human nature… it makes no sense.

So, what are the forgivable flaws, you may be asking. There’s really only one. There is not much in the way of scares (apart from the overused (really in any found-footage film) first-person-camera-turn-to-reveal-someone-suddenly-standing-there gag) or gore. I find this flaw forgivable because if this summer has taught me anything it’s that genuine scares in horror movies are nearly impossible to pull off. Now, in terms of the gore it is clearly apparent that the filmmaker (Edward Boase who took on writing, directing, and producing duties… which, is really disappointing since someone with that much control and input over a movie should be able to get his vision on film … unless this was his vision, which is truly terrifying… hey, maybe this is an experimental film and I just figured it out) didn’t have much in way of money to make the film. There are a couple of interesting scenes that have to do with eyes and one with a figure standing in a hallway that I found somewhat unsettling… though, unfortunately, this wasn’t explored any further. Finally, the only potentially scary (or at least disturbing) scene is completely spoiled in the box art for the movie… I’m not kidding… they really did this. Now, that is unforgivable (though, I’m sure the market department for the studio, and not the filmmaker, is to blame for that one).

Wow, getting that off my chest is live a salve. I feel rejuvenated and ready to dive back in. See you tomorrow!


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