Being released on DVD/Blu-ray October 19th, Mirrors 2 is the low-budget follow-up to the Alex Aja original that follows Max (Nick Stahl), a security guard who begins seeing strange visions of a young woman in the mirrors of the department store where he’s working the after-hours shift. And then…well, you can probably guess what happens next. B-D recently hopped on the phone with director Victor Garcia to chat with him about the production process, what it was like to helm a follow-up to a film that wasn’t exactly warmly received in the first place, and whether we can expect any creative kills in the vein of the Amy Smart bathtub face-rip in the first movie. See inside for the full interview.
During my visit to the Baton Rouge set of Mirrors 2 back in December, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that director Victor Garcia – in addition to being very intelligent and friendly – also just so happens to look like a runway model. Yummy. Anyway, on October 19th the sequel is being released on DVD/Blu-ray, and recently I hopped on the phone with the up-and-coming director to talk about the production process, what it was like to helm a follow-up to a film that wasn’t exactly warmly received in the first place, and whether he’d be on board for another entry in the franchise. Mirrors 3-D? (Just kidding. Or…am I?)
Bloody-Disgusting: So looking back on the production period, how do you view the experience?
Everything just happened…it was smooth, it just worked out. We made our days, and the dailies were looking good every day…nothing really bad [happened]. No big problems, other than the normal problems that you’re used to having on a production.
B-D: What would say was the toughest scene for you to film?
Um…well, whatever scene that has something to do with visual effects, it’s always trickier. It always takes a little bit more energy out of you. You’ve got to run several passes, and make sure you’ve got all the elements so the visual effects team has everything they have to create the final shot. That would probably be the most difficult thing. I mean, other than that it’s more a technical…it’s all about technical difficulties, other than other kinds of problems. We had everything storyboarded, so every time that we were facing some special effect, or some visual effect, we made sure in advance that all the teams were on the same page, so it was not a big surprise on the day.
For instance, for the final shot…I think we shot like six passes for that one. So that was tricky, it was time-consuming. But we knew that that was gonna happen and it was gonna be tricky, but that was it.
B-D: Speaking of special effects, I always remember the Amy Smart bathtub scene from the first movie. Are there any kills in this movie that will stand out in the same way?
I mean, that’s not really up to me to decide. That’s for the audience to decide. What I know is that we screened the movie over at ScreamFest, and Christy Carlson Romano’s death, at that point everybody was clapping. I guess we did our jobs! [Laughs] So I guess that’s memorable, and it’s one of those things in which it happens to be a girl in a shower instead of a bathtub. I was not trying to compare myself at all to the other movie. I was just trying to create the best kills out of what we had. To me, there was another death in an apartment – which is actually the day that you were on set, I think – that’s probably my favorite kill in the movie.
B-D: That was the Achilles tendon one, right?
Yeah, that’s the one. That’s my favorite one, probably.
B-D: So going back to the first film again, the American remake, I think the general consensus among audiences is that they were disappointed by it. So I’m wondering the fact that you were directing the follow-up to something that wasn’t extraordinarily successful helped take some of the pressure off, because you weren’t trying to live up to something that was all that well-received in the first place.
No, not really. I never felt the pressure of trying to do something bigger, or…those are two different set-ups, two different movies. The first movie had a pretty big budget. Our movie had a low budget. And we knew which kind of movie we were dealing with. I just tried to be [more like the] Korean movie. And I just decided to, you know, step away from Alex Aja’s movie and try to make my own movie. I was not trying to compare at any time the script, or the quality of the effects, or the story, with the first remake. I mean, this movie can be watched by anybody that has not seen the first `Mirrors’ movie.
B-D: So it’s a stand-alone creation.
The plot is very similar…it’s a similar set-up, with a similar ghost story. Other than that, you can follow this movie without being familiar with the Kiefer Sutherland movie.
B-D: What extras can we expect on the DVD?
Well, there are extras on the Blu-ray that I’ve been told are pretty cool. I haven’t been able to check those [out] yet. I have been able to watch the behind-the-scenes. They’re pretty extensive, and pretty interesting. It’s a lot of behind-the-scenes, and cast and crew member interviews. You know, that’s basically what you can expect. We have a couple of deleted scenes. But I know that there’s some extras on the Blu-ray that I have no idea [what they are]. I’m also waiting to take a look at that, it looks very interesting, but I have no idea…I know as much as you do. [Laughs]
I think that, to me, the most interesting thing for this release, especially on the Blu-ray, is that you have the chance to keep our [movie] and the original `Into the Mirror’ movie, the Korean one [`Into the Mirror' is included in the `Mirrors 2' Blu-ray and DVD]…so that’s probably one of the most interesting things, because I don’t know how [many] people have been able to watch the [original Korean film], but it was a really cool movie. I remember watching that movie back in the day, at a film festival in Spain in 2003, so it took awhile for American audiences to be able to take a look at in a studio release.
B-D: So if they were to ask you to come back and do another one, would you be interested?
Well, that always depends on the script. You know how this business is…I want to keep working, and I love shooting horror movies, that’s my genre…at least I would have the conversation, for sure. I never say no and I never say yes, I need to take a look at the script and see what the story is. Of course, if I get offered a job, everybody would consider a job. So the answer, I guess, is yes. [Laughs]