Fox // 2010 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker // October 8th, 2010
"Lots of psychic baggage in them there mirrors, huh?"
After a tragic car accident that killed his girlfriend, Max (Nick Stahl, Bully) is morose. To try to help him get back on his feet, his father (William Katt) gets him a job as a security guard at the new department store he's helping develop.
Uh-oh on that store: It's part of the Mayflower family, which a few of you might remember as the department store that went bonkers on Kiefer Sutherland in the first Mirrors. That store was in New York, this one is in New Orleans, but that ol' debbil looking glass is at it again. Security Guard Max -- who got the job after another security guard's reflection chomped on a piece of glass, causing reciprocal injury -- starts having wonky mirror-based visions of a missing girl. Later, he sees terrible reflected visions of his co-workers maiming themselves, while in the real world, these same co-workers are suffering horrible deaths caused by their own reflections. There's a mystery afoot, and Max determines to solve it, even if his efforts seem a little half-hearted.
The original Mirrors was a silly little movie made sillier by a convoluted plot and piles of story detours. Mirrors 2 is not necessarily a better movie, but it's a simpler one. It's a direct-to-home-video sequel that doesn't aspire to be anything more than a forgettable gorefest. It has the requisite shocks and bloodlettings, all hung on a by-the-numbers story. While the first film tried too hard to create a complex mythology, this one goes for a standard mystery/revenge plot. The film doesn't even bother with any kind of explanation as to why the mirrors have supernatural powers; we're just asked to accept that they do and then go along for the ride.
As the actors and their reflected doppelgangers go through the motions of trying to be scary, it's hard not to think of the classic Lucy and Harpo "Mirror Bit" from I Love Lucy. It's not supposed to be funny, but it kind of is, and the "horrible" things that happen on the other side of the glass are more gross and ludicrous than scary, though a few -- admittedly expected -- jump scenes are effective.
Lots of the kills here have been borrowed from other films. If you're keeping score, you'll see a little Suspiria, a little Hostel, and a few other moments that should strike you as familiar.
William Katt (The Greatest American Hero) plays Max's father, who's in charge of opening the haunted megastore. To make him look like a hipster in New Orleans, someone dug up the wig Sharon Stone wore in Basic Instinct 2 and glued it onto his head, making him the character you most want to see shredded by a reflective surface. He only pops in and out from time to time, but he does have a tense scene involving a slice of cold pizza. As Max, Stahl looks gaunt and haunted, but he doesn't put a lot of energy into the role. The rest of the cast are mainly TV veterans, and they do little besides hang around waiting to become mirror fodder.
Fox sent over a screener, so there's no way of telling how the finished product is going to look, but everything seems fine here. For supplements, we get a "Making of," a featurette on the effects, and a couple of deleted scenes.
A standard direct-to-home-video shocker, Mirrors 2 is neither terrible nor terrific. If you're looking for a slightly scary October watch, give this one a rental...on, say, a Tuesday.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Deleted Scenes