13th Sep2014

Frightfest 2014: ‘The Mirror’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jemma Dallender, Joshua Dickinson, Nate Fallows | Written and Directed by Edward Boase

the-mirror-cast

There is a long-held belief that mirrors act as gateways to another dimension. Some also believe the looking glass plays host to a world filled with evil spirits. Such superstition has been the basis for ancient folklore legends about haunting and possession; and one tale about a supposedly haunted mirror was picked up by the media in 2012. Both the Daily Mail and Huffington Post reported on how the owners of a recently purchased antique mirror left them dogged by bad luck, financial misery, strange sightings and death-defying illness. The Mirror is apparently inspired by that story…

Written and directed by Edward Boase, The Mirror follows three flatmates who buy said antique mirror on eBay and set up round the clock cameras in the hopes of capturing evidence of bumps in the night – all in the hopes of winning a scary movie competition and the huge cash-prize.

Wow. Where to begin with this review? How about don’t ever watch this film?

A shockingly bad found-footage flick that thinks watching three friends piss about in a flat whilst “weird shit” happens around them makes for a scary movie (it doesn’t), The Mirror is an example of how NOT to make a found footage movie. Whilst films like The Den and Open Windows push the envelope, and the boundaries, of what you can do in this increasingly over-populated horror genre, this is an example of how to rip off every crappy found footage film you’ve ever seen, and even the opening of Halloweeen(!) and make a movie that wants its audience to switch it off and go and do something more interesting. Which I almost did. Almost.

The main draw of The Mirror – at least for me – was the appearance of actress Jemma Dallender who, prior to this film, was mainly known for taking much abuse and kicking much arse in I Spit on Your Grave 2. Here all she does is whine, scream, cry and moan in a role that completely wastes her talents. Her co-stars don’t fare much better either, Joshua Dickinson spends half the film shouting at his flatmates and the other half walking round in a wide-eyed zombie-like state; whilst Whitechapel’s Nate Fallows is frankly annoying as Steve, the wannabe filmmaker who does everything he can to win the competition – including putting his friends in jeopardy (in other words he’s this films token arsehole).

There are some note-worthy scenes of gore in The Mirror, one of which is completely spoiled by the films poster/DVD cover may I add, but even the most graphic of scenes can’t save what is a dull, mundane and ultimately annoying, horror movie.

The Mirror is out now on DVD from matchbox Films.

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