1 February 2018 | jadavix
A tired, confusing waste of time
So, here it is: the last movie in the "Mirror Mirror" series. The first one didn't know what to do with the central premise of a haunted mirror, so fell back on a reliable formula about a picked on girl getting revenge on her tormentors, but going too far (don't they always). The second one embraced more completely the idea of the haunted mirror, but didn't really have a plot to surround it with. The third, and generally most maligned, swapped the horror for softcore sex, as if anyone ever wanted to see snake-face Billy Drago getting it on...
And that takes us up to this fourth entry. It seems to take on the form of a slasher flick this time around, only without the slasher. A group of obnoxious young people accompany our heroine, who lost her boyfriend to the mirror in the movie's opening scene, into an area of a nightclub (I think) which looks like a museum that was never finished being set up. Random curiosities lie around the place, including a kind of statue which is obviously a man wearing make-up.
This series of films has an odd trend in which a recognizable actor will appear in one movie, and then turn up in the next playing a different character. "Mirror Mirror" parts one and two had William Sanderson, from "Blade Runner" and "Deadwood". "Mirror Mirror" parts two and three had Mark Ruffalo, now a major star. And parts three and four have the aforementioned Billy Drago, playing a ladies' man artist in the previous movie, and a bum who knows too much in this one. The weirdo who warns the characters about the movie's central evil in vague terms, is ignored, and then has the hero or heroine seek him out for the advice they should have followed is a staple of horror movies. Is that what Drago is doing in this one? It's hard to tell. He doesn't do much but hang around and talk in that weird serpentine drawl of his, and flash his evil, flinty eyes. He appears to know about the mirror, but does he try to warn anyone about it? I'm not sure.
Doubtless, if there had been a "Mirror Mirror V", Drago would be gone, but P.J. Soles would come back. She was in "Halloween", the movie the "Mirror Mirror" series rips off for theme music, and "Carrie", a much better "unpopular girl gets revenge" movie than "Mirror Mirror 1".
I said the movie takes the basic shape of a slasher, but without the killer. This, I believe, is true. There are some odd effects where one of the obnoxious young people grows a long, CGI tongue. I assume some of the characters die in this movie, but it just looks like they turn into really bad special effects.
The movie has all the problems that have plagued this series. The most obvious is the fact that we are never sure where the movie actually takes place. I mean, what is it? A nightclub? A wax museum? Why is there a museum above a nightclub? Why do the characters even go up there?
Who is the main character, anyway? What does she believe happened to her fiance in the movie's opening scene?
Even the works of b-film mavens like Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski had a better grasp of foundations of location, character, and villain than any of the "Mirror Mirror" sequels. None of them succeeded in making the mirror scary; half the time they barely remembered there was supposed to be one. They barely seem to qualify as films.