Just in time for Halloween comes a direct-to-video sequel to the modest 2008 horror film Mirrors. The original was no classic, and Mirrors 2 is in every way inferior. Marred by a lousy script, poor acting and utterly devoid of scares, Mirrors 2 is best left unseen.
Night watchman Max (Nick Stahl) is still reeling from the death of his fiancée in a wreck he survived when he agrees to work at his dad's New Orleans department store. Job security does not look good for Max, as the previous watchman went crazy, and another young female employee is missing. While doing his rounds, Max notices something amiss in the store's mirrors and must determine whether his grieving mind is playing tricks on him.
The original Mirrors, from French director Alexandre Aja, was uneven and not entirely successful, but it used the unique idea of a deadly mirror image to its benefit. That film hinted at the evils of reflection before revealing that the violence occurring in the mirror happened in reality. Mirrors 2 takes this general premise and dumbs it down considerably. Nearly every kill happens the same way: A character sees his or her reflection in the mirror. Said reflection goes crazy. Death soon follows. Because the scares are so unimaginative, these scenes are never suspenseful.
The story is also lacking. Max trots around the store while his co-workers die, eventually teaming up with Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugier), the sister of the original missing employee, to solve the mystery. The ending, other than its ludicrous and rushed execution, should be a surprise to no one. On a more positive note, director Víctor García (Return to House on Haunted Hill) is able to squeeze a few decent gore scenes out of his limited budget. It is too bad his actors are on par with high school drama students, giving performances that range from disinterested to laughably bad.
It may be tempting to add Mirrors 2 to your Halloween movie queue, but I would advise against it. An uninvolving story, lack of scares and obvious budget constraints do no favors for the film. Mirrors 2 is an unnecessary sequel and forgettable at best.
Fox presents Mirrors 2 with a satisfying 1.78:1 widescreen transfer. The film has a fairly dull color palette, but the transfer handles the grays and blacks well, and comes to life in a few more colorful scenes. The amount of detail is generally pleasing, though some noisy compression artifacts popped up occasionally in backgrounds. Skin tones are natural and blacks solid, but I noticed some overblown highlights. Fox appears to have skipped the application of any overt edge enhancement.
The film's English 5.1 Dolby Digital track is decent, but sounds a bit flat. Dialogue is clear and well-balanced, and the film's repetitive score sounds full and impressive. I would have liked effects to have a bit more range, as they do not often travel to the rear speakers. The track could have used more punch, but it is certainly adequate. English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are available.
PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:
Mirrors 2 comes on a double-sided disc that is housed in a black eco-case. Fox has included a 3D lenticular replication of the cover. This is not a slipcover, but a rectangle attached with glue to the box. The packaging indicates that the included unrated cut is different from a previous R-rated version.
The best extra feature here is Into the Mirror, the original Korean film upon which the Mirrors films are based, on Side B. Into the Mirror certainly has a different tone from its American counterparts, but it is nice to have it on the disc, as it is a better film than Mirrors 2. The disc also includes a few movie-specific extras for Mirrors 2. The first, The Other Side: Making Mirrors 2 (9:39) features interviews with the cast and crew. The filmmakers assert that Mirrors 2 is closer in spirit to the Korean film that spawned Mirrors than Aja's film. Keeping It Real: The Visual and Special Effects of Mirrors 2 (12:32) is a reasonably entertaining look at how the filmmakers pulled off the movie's goriest scenes. Superfluous deleted scenes (2:26) and trailers for other Fox movies round out the extras.
The $77 million worldwide box office of Mirrors was apparently enough to warrant this lackluster sequel. Direct-to-video horror sequels have their market, but Mirrors 2 brings nothing to the table of interest. Boring and uninspired, Mirrors 2 does not deserve a spot on your Halloween movie list. Those curious to watch the original Korean film, Into the Mirror, may want to rent this. Otherwise, Skip It.
William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.