Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

If nothing else the executives at Fox Studios probably have a good thing going with the whole ‘Mirrors’ concept. Unlike the other franchisable boogie men that get old real quick, this one is based on mirrors and considering that mirrors and reflections are ubiquitous, and thanks to the Korean original, it is proven that reflections, when handled properly, can be quite creepy. This leads us to the first of what I am going to assume is going to be many straight to DVD sequels of director Alexandre Aja’s really effective ‘Mirrors’ remake with the appropriately named ‘Mirrors 2’. And as far as straight to DVD sequels go, this one wasn’t so bad.

Max (Nick Stahl), is having a tough go at it right about now. He is still mourning the death of his fiancé a year back due to a horrific automobile accident and is just now getting over the drug and alcohol abuse that he used as a crutch to get over his terrible loss. Then something really bad happens to the night watchman at his dad’s store. You see Max’s old man Jack (William Katt) is building a new Mayflower store in New Orleans and was lucky enough to get the mirror from that Mayflower that burnt to the ground in New York a few years back. How lucky is that huh? Now this store is just days from opening and old man Jack has no night watchman and begs his son to fill the position for him because Jack said it’s too much trouble to find another security guard. I had no idea that finding security guards was all that difficult, but then I was reminded of the oppressive seven day wait period to operate a flashlight.

It doesn’t take long for the weird stuff to start happening as a completely burnt out Max starts seeing some spooky dead chick in the mirrors in the store. Then this spooky dead chick starts killing up a couple of the executives in this store for reasons which are as yet unknown. Rest assured however that in the annals of asshole executives of fake department stores, these clowns take the cake and pretty much get what they deserve.

Turns out this freaky dead woman is the sister of one Elizabeth Reigns (Emmanuelle Vaugier) and girlfriend’s sister has been missing ever since she went to an after hour Mayflower Corp. office party. Elizabeth spends every spare moment searching for her sister so imagine Liz’s surprise when the burnt out security guard shows up informing her that baby sis is floating around the mirrors of the Mayflower straight up wrecking folks. I gotta say that Elizabeth handled that information extremely well.

Apparently the dead chick can only communicate with Max via his own death experience a year ago but what does this dead chick want? Well for starters she wants to kill all of those who are responsible for killing her and secondly… well… that’s it really. Excitement, gore, and total nonsense shall ensue. Roll credits.

I enjoyed the first ‘Mirrors’ movie as it was suitably creepy, Keifer Sutherland did a fine job of creating another variation of Jack Bauer and Paula Patton spent a large majority of that movie soaking wet. What’s not to like about that? Admittedly this sequel falls short in almost every conceivable category when compared head up to the original; Nick Stahl compared to Kiefer Sutherland, a dry Emmanuelle Vaugier compared to a wet Paula Patton, New York compared to New Orleans, director Alexandre Aja compared to Victor Garcia, but I think this one does have a little more gore, the narrative is certainly easier to wrap your brain around plus it has the added bonus of completely gratuitous nudity. In fact when the voice of Kim Possible Christy Romano went to take that shower, Garcia’s camera lingered on the naked woman for so long and at such odd angles that it started to make me feel uncomfortable.

One of the things that was interesting in the way this story was told, was that all of the jump scares, unnecessary nudity and gory elements were mostly front loaded which was a fairly effective device in getting the audience into the movie. Of course the problem with this is since all of the good stuff is in the front of the movie, the back half of this movie transforms from what was a reasonably entertaining horror flick to a completely run-of-the mill, totally tired, completely predictable crime thriller.

True enough this sequel isn’t setting anything on fire and it also dumbs down a narrative from the original that wasn’t all that intelligent in the first place, but it is well paced, capably directed, posses some nice horror imagery and didn’t leave me with that empty, ‘I’ve just wasted my valuable time’ feeling.

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