MIRROR, MIRROR earned at least one notation for the record books. Its video release, following a scanty theatrical showing, was promoted as the first genre title with a holograph on the cassette box. There in all its 3-D glory is the titular home furnishing, a ghastly specter reaching out
from its shimmery depths. The film itself has its moments, among them a diabolical trick ending, but overall the plot is a familiar riff on CARRIE and other paranormal-teen-revenge sagas.
Megan Gordon (Rainbow Harvest) is one unhappy high-schooler. Her father is dead, and her kooky mother (Karen Black) relocates from Los Angeles to a small midwestern town as therapy. A black-garbed, gothic, neo-punk Megan alienates nearly all her new classmates and lives a lonely, bitter
existence. One night, within earshot of an antique full-length mirror in her room, she despairingly wishes her father back. And back he comes, moldy and worm-eaten, for a brief, angry reprimand. It seems the looking glass contains a demon willing to grant one's darkest desires, and, despite the
ugly experience with dad, Megan soon uses the mirror's power against the preppy types who mock her at school.
Megan's bloody vengeance, however, is completely out of proportion to the verbal slights of her fellow students, and that makes MIRROR, MIRROR mildly interesting. From I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF onward, horror filmmakers have depicted such youthful boogeymen as basically sympathetic souls, victims
of society--or science--whose rampages are understandable, perhaps even justified. But Megan, not all that likable in the first place, wholly embraces the evil in the mirror (literally--and she sensuously licks up rivulets of blood that spring from the surface), becoming an instrument for its
malevolence. Only after the gory killing of her own mother does Megan, with the support of her last surviving friend Nikki (Kristin Dattilo), try to break free of the mirror's influence. It's far, far too late.
It's also far, far too long: ten to twenty minutes could have safely been trimmed from the film. The climax is a seemingly endless chase of the heroines through lots of bright blue lights, smoke and whirling bits of paper, a sequence that betrays first-time director Marina Sargenti's background
in music videos. One fully expects the girls to run smack into a thrash-metal band. Perhaps it is only a coincidence, but when the demon finally emerges he resembles Riff Raff from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. For that matter, Megan and her mom look uncomfortably like the daughter-mother combo
of Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara in BEETLEJUICE. Karen Black portrays Mrs. Gordon as a sitcom goofball, displaying human qualities only late in the film, just in time for her fatal encounter with a kitchen-sink garbage disposal. Her odd boyfriend, by the way, is essayed by William Sanderson,
whom "Newhart" fans will fondly remember as Larry--as in Larry, Darryl & Darryl. The youthful actors go at this stuff with conviction, Dattilo especially, and Rainbow Harvest looks great in black. A subplot about a student election just gets silly, as when born-for-gym-shower-scenes Charlie
Spradling wages her juvenile media blitz with an anachronistic Movietone-Newsreel-style campaign commercial.
Most notable of the special effects are some point-of-view shots from within the mirror, using creepy modulated sound. For some reason the filmmakers also exaggerate the noise whenever anybody chews food, a recurring audio motif that's less than enthralling. (Violence, profanity, sexualsituations, nudity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: MIRROR, MIRROR earned at least one notation for the record books. Its video release, following a scanty theatrical showing, was promoted as the first genre title with a holograph on the cassette box. There in all its 3-D glory is the titular home furnishin… (more)