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John’s Horror Corner: Mirror Mirror (1990), an incredibly boring evil mirror movie about high school temptations.

March 3, 2019

MY CALL: A boring, uneventful movie misfiring the concepts that would later be much better presented in Wishmaster (1997) and The Craft (1996). Just go watch them instead. MOVIES LIKE Mirror Mirror: For more evil mirror movies try Oculus (2014) or Mirrors (2008). But I’d maybe skip Mirror (2014), even though it’s way better than Mirror Mirror. And let’s definitely avoid the three sequels (1994, 1995, 2000) to this movie. Yes, three!

Opening scenes in horror movies offer a chance for filmmakers and special effects artists to tease our horrific taste buds with a sort of amuse-bouche in the form of a gory death scene, transformation scene or creature effect. More often than not, it will stand out as one of the best scenes of the entire film. Disappointingly to the contrary, this movie opens with the kind of mostly off-screen death scene that you’d hope wouldn’t set such a standard (but it does), as it fit the low budget random and incomprehensible style oft-encountered in less-inspired horror.

Decades after a woman murders another, Susan Gordon (Karen Black; House of 1000 Corpses, Night Angel, It’s Alive III, Burnt Offerings) and her high school daughter Megan (Rainbow Harvest) buy the house in which the vile deed was committed. The moment we see Megan and her mother, there’s nothing subtle of the Delia-Lydia Beetlejuice (1988) dynamic being copied. Meanwhile, an antique dealer (Yvonne De Carlo; American Gothic, Cellar Dweller) handling the estate of the previous homeowner snoops through an old diary for an exposition dump explaining the magical, evil and indestructible qualities of an old mirror left behind… which, naturally, caught Megan’s fancy. Apparently, the demon within the mirror acts like an evil genie, granting its possessor wishes as it influences them.

The supernatural events that follow are haphazardly executed at best. Megan is terrorized by a manifestation of her recently deceased father’s meltingly rotten corpse (among the better scenes of the movie, but I wasn’t exactly impressed). I wasn’t really feeling the tension or horror when a classmate stupidly suffered a bad bloody nose, when another nearly drowned, or when Megan’s teacher (Stephen Tobolowsky; Single White Female) suffered an asthma attack. And when Megan uses the power of the mirror to seduce a rival Mean Girl’s boyfriend and the demon within the mirror kills him, I was right then wishing I was watching almost anything else.

This movie’s idea of a death scene is having cheap FX clawed hands shake someone’s head while spraying fake blood over no latex wounds to be found. All of the death scenes are terrible, but the “least” bad is the blistering shower scene. But the “horror” aspects aren’t all that’s bad here. The writing is painfully dry, the acting is rigid, and even the movie’s greatest efforts to be interesting feel stale. It’s nowhere near “Girlfriend from Hell (1989) bad”, but it’s pretty boring.

I see no reason to recommend this to anyone for any reason—other than punishment. For what it was trying to accomplish, I’d recommend horror fans instead explore Wishmaster (1997) and The Craft (1996), the pair of which encapsulate so much better the concepts misfired in Mirror Mirror.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2019 11:37 am

    I remember this dreadful movie! Very fair review.

Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner: It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987), the over-the-top monster baby sequel wandering into B-movie waters. | Movies, Films & Flix

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