The Mirror (2014) eBay Meets Paranormal Activity (Review)

The Mirror screen shot

The Mirror is essentially eBay meets “Paranormal Activity” in an English flat (apartment).  A found footage film that features a haunted mirror bought on Ebay. Three friends team up to film the thing for a million dollar contest.  Things obviously begin to go wrong but at such as slow uninteresting pace that the viewer struggles to maintain interest.

Written and directed by Edward Boase the film starts with the friends excited at the prospect of winning the grand prize and dealing with a haunted object.  The mirror is delivered that they hang it on the wall.

Matt (Joshua Dickinson)  is the first of the friends to be affected but the mirror and his state of mind and behavior changes over time. Jemma (Jemma Dallender) is initially angry at her boyfriends awkward attitude. This changes to concern over time though.  Steve (Nate Fallows) is the cameraman who really wants something to happen so they can win the big prize. 

It begins with Matt sleepwalking and standing in front of the mirror for so long he wets himself. He then continues to sleepwalk through the flat while wearing a GoPro camera strapped to his chest.  Matt refuses to show the footage to either Steve or Jemma.

The Mirror does eventually   speed up but by that time the audience really have lost interest.  (Although the attempted attack on the path is effectively done.) The main problem is that apart from the emphasis on kitchen knives the movie really is Paranormal Activity but in a flat with one bedroom and a box room.

The use of “unknowns” in the key roles was a good move. Sadly events throughout most of the film are far too low-key. Then the  three protagonists spend far too much time bickering and it is distracting and annoying.

In many ways the film can be considered a triumph.  Filmed on a shoestring budget of £20,000 The Mirror was influenced by the true story of two flatmates who salvaged a haunted mirror from a rubbish skip. The men were tormented by bumps in the night and physical attacks, in the forms of scratches.

The story inspired Edward Boase but unfortunately, presumably due to the low budget, opted for the found footage format.

(It should be mentioned that on IMDb someone mentions the use of pepper spray or “OC” spray as a deterrent in one scene. These type of defense sprays are illegal in the United Kingdom.   The spray  used was would most likely have been deodorant or body spray.)

The Mirror does end on a “high” note but uses subtitles far too similar to Paranormal Activity and loses its edge as a result.  The effects, for such a low budget feature, are pretty impressive.  Sadly the slow pace and the meandering storyline take away from the effectiveness of the ending.

This is Ed Boase’s second feature length film and in terms of putting the whole thing together proves that this is a director to keep an eye on.  Hopefully his next inspired film will be a bit faster on the uptake.

This low/no budget horror film is a 3 star film. It earns a higher rating due to the performances and the fact that it does pick up at the end. Streaming on Netflix at the moment, fans of found footage may have a look.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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