Christy Carlson Romano
Jon Michael Davis
Lance E. Nichols
Cheap Horror sequel
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Mirrors 2 (2010)
15th Feb 11
A store security guard thinks he is losing his marbles when he starts seeing spooky things in mirrors.
Director Alexander Aja’s original Mirrors saw troubled former cop Kiefer Sutherland spooked by creepy happenings in a closed store’s spiffing antique mirror and any other reflective surface he pretty much came across. The film was watchable but hugely flawed but passable as an undemanding Saturday night rental. It appears that a lot of viewers agreed as it took a tidy amount at the box office worldwide prompting this otherwise unwarranted sequel.
This time round we meet Max Matheson, played by Nick Stahl, who dies along with his fiancée Kayla (Jennifer Sipes) in a serious car accident. Max is resuscitated from his early calling to the other side and spends his time recovering gabbling with his shrink Dr. Beaumont about the guilt he feels regarding his last fiancée.
Still a brush from the other side comes in handy when Max’s father Jack (William House Katt) decides to help his son out by hiring him as a replacement security guard at his Mayflower Department Store. Max’s brush with the afterlife means that he can see a spooky female ghost within the store’s mirrors...which is handy for the spook too otherwise her mystery would never be resolved...funny isn’t it how life or in this case death can work out for some people.
Anyhow he soon twigs that a couple of mysterious deaths are linked to this spectre and links up with Elizabeth Reigns (Emmanuelle Vaugier) who he had bumped into posting ‘Missing’ flyers for her sister. She completely buys in to the preposterous notion Max presents her with that her dead sister is kind of communicating with him and soon both are working together to unravel the mystery behind the missing sister's death.
Mirrors 2 stars Nick Stahl whom impressed in Mel Gibson’s The Man Without a Face but aside from his villainous role in Sin City his career has been somewhat eclectic at best with his last major appearance of note being that of John Connor in Terminator 3. He effectively sleepwalks through his role here but then he knows better than to try and emote or even act at all when Mirrors 2 is about its impressive death/gore set pieces and little else.
The gore/death sequences are of a very high standard - courtesy of the amazing Greg Nicotero - and evidently more money was evidently spent here than in hiring decent writers or actors than can. As soon as the first mirror-related killing occurs things rattle along with no build up to the next but then fizzles out after Max thwarts one such 'accident' from taking place. It's as if the producers demanded that the budget be maxed out early on on such shots just to keep interest going. It's a shame they didn't have more spending power as the viewer is left alone with the cast and a vacuous plot which until now the gore had kept you sidetracked from caring about.
Director Víctor García knows how to turn in a cheap horror sequel cheapie in terms of wowing with the effects work– such as fellow straight-to-DVD flick Return to House on Haunted Hill - but elsewhere he stiffs proving he's nothing more than a director for hire with little or no interest in really making his mark as a name to watch.
Elements of the plot just dont make sense - why is William Katt's character targetted by the vengeful ghost and what happened to the standard cops-trailing-the-wrong guy subplot? One scene with the doubting cops and they effectively disappear. Everything just coasts along failing to register as a decent evening's viewing doing instead what another Kiefer Sutherland movie was all about - flatlining! The decent effects work merits Mirrors 2 one star more than it would otherwise merit. It's dismal, shoddy and not even bad enough to be laughable.
Everyone involved talks very passionately about Mirrors 2 as if they have created a classic rather than the sub-standard Blockbuster shelf-filler that it really is. When one actor (not named so as not to ruin the climax) talks about how he can’t watch his own performance in the movie given what a meanie he portrays one cannot help but stifle a laugh given how little presence he really has as the main villain of the piece. He states that he was channelling Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. Either he hasn’t really seen Lynch’s masterpiece or he is having delusions of grandeur that there’s just no amount of talking down from.
The Other Side: Making Mirrors 2 It is apparent that the producers wanted to make a disposable flick that easily bought in the readies without so much as a thought to actually dazzling or thrilling the audience beyond a superficial level. They did! There’s some humour to be had viewing this short piece as you get to hear the expression ‘original sequel’ from one of the producer’s – surely a contradiction?
Keeping it Real: The visual and special effects of Mirrors 2 is another short feature that knows where the movie’s only real strength lies and that’s in its rather excellent effects work. The short covers each major effect quickly and informatively although one can’t help wondering why one of Todd Williams – one of the movie’s producers doesn’t sort out that fluffy noise on his microphone. It was evident in the last feature too.
Deleted Scenes Both of these feature the former security man Henry Schow (Evan Jones) and aside from a brief hand touching between the vacuous leads there’s little here to get excited about - much like the film really.