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John’s Horror Corner: Mirror Mirror 2: Raven Dance (1994), a joyless movie with no effects, concepts or story worth your time… unless you just want to see Mark Ruffalo in a horror movie!

May 6, 2022

MY CALL: I know some people like these movies—I’m definitely not one of them. Probably just as disappointing as Mirror Mirror (1990), I found this movie very weak in every possible way. From story to death scenes, there is little to offer and not a single pleasing scene. For the record, I only watched this because Mark Ruffalo is in it. Let’s just say Mark owes me one. MORE MOVIES LIKE Mirror Mirror 2For more evil mirror movies try Mirrors (2008), Mirrors 2 (2010), Oculus (2014), Into the Mirror (2003) or the original Mirror Mirror (1990). But I’d skip Mirror (2014).

Seventeen years after an incident between an evil mirror and a hysterical pregnant woman, we find teenager Marlee (Tracy Wells; After Midnight) at an orphanage. For whatever nonsense reason, a hardcore metal band is setting up at the orphanage for some sort of charity show. Unfortunately, they’re all douchebags that offer little more than bullying and harassment to Marlee and her little brother, who are somehow the only orphans present for their charity concert. But when Marlee “wishes” someone would teach them a lesson in the presence of the cursed mirror, we learn what this mirror is all about. Similar to Wishmaster (1997), the mirror is inhabited by a demon that grants wishes and feeds on… something. The movie doesn’t do the best job explaining how the wishes and demonic possession work. After some crackling magical electricity burns the band members to cinders (with no appreciable gore of special effects to enjoy really), Marlee’s brother “makes friends” with the demon as if it were an imaginary friend.

So all that happened in the first 12 minutes. A lot of very random things, and none of them satisfying or interesting at all. To continue the trend of inexplicability, Marlee (who is in an orphan?) also has a wicked, suspiciously older, and rather stylish stepsister Rosyln (Sally Kellerman; Doppelganger). Roslyn has commissioned the sleazy, slimy Doctor Lasky (Roddy McDowall; Fright Night I-II, Shakma) in some sort of plan to steal Marlee’s inheritance. So Marlee is a rich orphan living in an orphanage, but also has a 50-some year-old stepsister who is staying at the orphanage as well for some reason. Sure, makes total sense.

Blinded from the evil mirror events of 17 years ago, Sister Aja (Veronica Cartwright; Alien, The Witches of Eastwick, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) is approached by the mysterious Christian (Mark Ruffalo; The Dentist, Mirror Mirror 3), who Aja does not trust. Christian is a major character who injects as much exposition as he does confusion into the story.

The budget must have been destitute. There is a buzzsaw death, an aging scene and an animated toys scene. All of them were executed as cheaply and joylessly as possible, as if performed by a kid scribbling mostly wrong answers on his homework right outside of his classroom door. Just say your dog ate it and stay home. Just joyless.

This movie is a boring, uneventful, generally deathless slog. It feels a lot like a needlessly long and bad episode of that Twilight Zone-esque Friday the 13th series (1987-1990). Marlee’s brother spends more time talking to the demon in the mirror (and nothing happens), Marlee spends more time fixated on the mirror (and nothing happens), Marlee spends more time with the mysterious Christian (and nothing happens)… Christian keeps threatening people and disappearing as if to confuse us as to whether he is a real person or a ghost…. and then there’s all the dancing.

This movie has several scenes of Marlee dancing, and some of them are not short. This dancing is not impressive at all, nor is the presentation at all sexualized. So why bore us with all these dancing scenes? This movie is just terrible. Don’t get me started on the raven that flies out of the mirror then just innocuously appears here and there, like the dancing, for no apparent reason at all. I am now annoyed this sequel is called “Raven Dance.”

Perhaps this could have been fun and laughable if watched in the company of a friend. But as a solo watch, this was like serving penance for my sins.

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