Mirrors 2: Unrated (Blu-ray Combo Pack)
Directed by Victor Garcia
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 1080p AVC codec
Running Time: 90 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio5.1 English
Subtitles: SDH, Spanish, French
MSRP: $ 29.98
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Review Date: October 22, 2010
It isn’t really necessary to have seen the original in the film series Mirrors in order to understand what’s going on in its sequel, but it probably would have given a first timer a bit of subtext for this new made-for-video effort. The original film was an Americanized version of a Korean thriller, and while the idea of reflected images controlling real life personas is novel enough to propel a horror series with the right acting and some clever writing, there need to be a lot more ground rules established about how this mirror world operates in order for the film not to devolve into something hilarious instead of something horrific. Mirror 2 for most of its running time doesn’t distinguish itself as anything but hack work.
Plagued by guilt and a dependency on alcohol and drugs following the death of his fiancé in a car crash, Max (Nick Stahl) begins working as a night watchman in his father’s (William Katt) New Orleans branch of the Mayflower department store. A former employee Eleanor Reigns (Stephanie Honoré Sanchez) has gone missing, and Max keeps thinking he’s seeing her reflection in various mirrors at home and at work. He’s also being sent almost psychic visions in the mirrors of terrible murders which are happening to various other Mayflower employees. Max decides he has the best chance of finding out what happened to Eleanor by working together with her sister Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugiér) to track down the truth.
Though screenwriter Matt Venne attempts to set up a murder mystery of sorts about the mysterious deaths of the Mayflower employees and the missing Eleanor, it’s not really much of a puzzle, and when flashbacks late in the movie reveal all, it’s pretty humdrum stuff. Director Victor Garcia stages the immolation scenes with an adequate degree of kick to the violence, but the set-ups are pretty ridiculous. Why wouldn’t these people break a mirror that was showing upsetting images of their own deaths or merely run away from it or not look at what was happening? And how does the woman in the mirror happen to have the power to control these events? These are not questions that are ever asked or answered, nor are we ever clued in as to why Max has been selected to be the receptacle for the psychic transmissions of the deaths. At least the slight story isn’t elongated into an absurd length. The film is mercifully over after a decent interval, but, to be fair, there are two really good moments where special effects impress: a shot inside a mirrored elevator has images of store manager Ryan Parker (Jon Michael Davis) extending into infinity, but at the point right before he exits, one of the reflected images turns and faces the camera while the others remain in profile. The second happens when the camera travels through the glass and turns around so that we see the world from the other side, complete with cracks and scratches in the glass as we look outward. It’s eerily effective with these shots offering something the film could have used much more of: atmosphere.
The performances across the board are adequate but no better, though these players are working with really subpar material and might be excused from taking too much of the blame for either performances that go way overboard (Lawrence Turner as floor manager Keller Landreaux) or actors who are phoning it in (Wayne Péré and Lance E. Nichols as poker-faced detectives whose performances are laughably bad). Christy Romano bares all in a shower scene before her unfortunate end, but it’s all for naught.
The film has been framed at 1.78:1 and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. The color seems to be slightly desaturated to give the film an “off” texture, but this wan color palette including the zombie-like flesh tones is lackluster and not especially impressive. Sharpness is good but never great, and black levels are solid. The film has been divided into 24 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix relies on the music to provide the film’s meager ambience and has been well crafted to extend throughout the soundstage constantly. Very little is done in the way of split surround effects for the various channels which is a distinct disappointment, even with a low budget entry such as this. The music, though, does all it can to provide the film with the few shocks and scares that work, and the LFE channel is used throughout to keep a steady low hum going to keep the viewer on edge.
“The Other Side: Making Mirrors 2” features interviews with the producers, the director, and several of the stars discussing the production of the movie. This 1080p featurette runs 9 ¾ minutes.
“Keeping It Real: The Visual and Special Effects of Mirrors 2” has the movie’s special effects coordinator discussing the way various shock effects were filmed with behind-the-scenes footage of the various prosthetic pieces used in the violent scenes. Also interviewed are the director and the co-stars who must undergo the violence on-camera. This 1080p feature runs 12 ½ minutes.
There are two deleted scenes which run 2 ¼ minutes in 1080p.
A BonusView Picture-in-Picture Blu-ray exclusive allows the viewer to turn on a feature which will have mirror views of selected scenes as seen from the vintage point of the woman in the mirror who points out her killers before they’re revealed in the film itself. If you haven't seen the film before, turning on this feature definitely spoils whatever surprises the movie has to offer.
The disc contains 1080p trailers for Predators, Machete, Vampires Suck, and the Fox and FX drama series distributed by Fox on DVD and Blu-ray.
The second disc in the set is the DVD version of the movie. On the flip side of the DVD, however, is the original Korean film from 2001 – Into the Mirror, a really nice extra.
2/5 (not an average)
Mirrors 2 really isn’t very good, but this combo release does include the original Korean version of the film which started the American franchise, a nice surprise for those who’d like to see where the idea for this franchise originated.