Mirror, mirror on the wall: what's the lamest horror concept of all? Slovenly produced, this fifth-rate spook-a-thon stirs up lots of familiar horror ingredients, but fails to season them with intelligent screenwriting or proficient direction.
In a preamble, pregnant Nicolette (Sarah Douglas) warns doubting nuns not to uncover a mysterious looking-glass; they disobey and everyone regrets it. Years later, left alone at this same convent, newly orphaned Marlee (Tracy Wells) and her traumatized brother Jeffrey (Carlton Beener) encounter
the same mirror when some visiting rock musicians insist on undraping it. The Satanic mirror releases bolts of energy, sizzling up the rockers and temporarily blinding Marlee. Sister Marion (Lois Nettleton) attributes the deaths to a freak electrical storm, but worries that Marlee's strange
interest in the looking-glass lends credence to the concerns of Marlee's stepsister Roslyn (Sally Kellerman). Accompanied by her duplicitous physician Dr. Lasky (Roddy McDowall), Roslyn secretly plans to unhinge Marlee in order to gain control of her estate. They plan to drug the teen and then
frighten her into madness with the complicity of perverted handyman Roger (William Sanderson).
Having taken a custodial interest in Marlee, the image-demon encourages Marlee to dance by the mirror as he gradually restores her vision. Despite regular warnings from Sister Aja (Veronica Cartwright), who was blinded doing battle with the fiendish reflection, dancing Marlee succumbs to the
mirror, which grows stronger through their symbiosis. Marlee then falls for the mysterious Christian (Mark Ruffalo), raised by the nuns after his mother Nicolette's demise--but is he just another manifestation of the demon? The mirror-demon slays Roger, slices up Sister Marion, destroys Dr. Lasky,
and ages ultra-vain Roslyn into wizened old-womanhood. With the aid of Jeffrey, who gets sucked into the mirror, and Christian, whom she mistakenly stabs, Marlee finally puts the mirror out of commission. In an epilogue, she's traded places with Nicolette; the cycle begins again.
What a mish-mosh of religious gobbledygook, padded-out exposition, and barely competent direction! Only a demonically possessed screenwriter would have us swallow the premise that nuns would invite foul-mouthed heavy-metal rockers for a charity benefit at their convent. Weakened fatally by the
two ciphers cast as Marlee and Jeffrey, MIRROR, MIRROR 2: RAVEN DANCE exemplifies everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fright-nighting at its worst.
This perfunctory shocker reeks of defeatism. Knowing that the script, with its puerile touches of film-school reflexivity, was unplayable, the producers blew their budget on some nifty special effects and then wasted a cast of capable actors (Nettleton, McDowall, Cartwright, Sanderson) on a
futile salvage job. This unscary chiller's most throat-tightening terror jumps out at viewers during the unflattering shots of Marlee attempting FLASHDANCE-style routines in front of the mirror. What a feeling! (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Mirror, mirror on the wall: what's the lamest horror concept of all? Slovenly produced, this fifth-rate spook-a-thon stirs up lots of familiar horror ingredients, but fails to season them with intelligent screenwriting or proficient direction. In a prea… (more)