Last February, an allegedly haunted mirror sold on eBay for $155. The sellers claimed that the mirror hung in their London flat for five months and during that time, they suffered terrible misfortunes and witnessed supernatural activity like flickering shadows reflected in its surface. One owner claims he woke up with red scratches on his midsection. That was the final straw and the duo put the bastard mirror up for sale on eBay, fully disclosing the experience they’ve had with it.
Edward Boase’s The Mirror is apparently inspired by this story. In the film, three London flatmates purchase an antique mirror on eBay and set up 24-hour cameras to capture whatever may go down. They’re doing so in hopes of winning a prove-ghosts-are-real contest with a hefty cash prize being offered by the James Randi Foundation (a real life magician and sceptic who has fiercely challenged paranormal claims throughout his career).
Despite some solid performances from the three leads (Jemma Dallender, Joshua Dickinson, and Nate Fallows) The Mirror is as mundane as found footage can get. There are SO many found footage flicks nowadays that the envelope really needs to be pushed to stand out amongst the dung heap (Open Windows and Exists are two recent examples). The Mirror brings nothing new to the table and even manages to snake some beats from more successful entries like Paranormal Activity. The film actually starts out pretty hopeful, with a sense of unease from the start, but this quickly dissolves into a tedious story where it feels like nothing happens for painfully long stretches.
Much of the film’s 80-minute running time is consumed by the three flatmates bitching one another out. Their dynamic is boring: one wants to believe in ghosts, one doesn’t, the girl whines and cries a lot. It’s deep characterization, man. There are some moments of decent gore, but for some reason they chose to spoil the goriest moment on the movie poster. There’s also an attempt at providing the mirror with some mythological backstory, which would’ve been interesting if it was explored further. When the crux of the film is a haunted object, I wanna know more about its history, dammit! Take The Possession for example. It wasn’t the greatest horror film, but at least it was interesting thanks to all the backstory surrounding the Dybbuk box. I would’ve loved to see more of that detective work in The Mirror. Instead Boase on flirts with its history.
The Mirror is available now on various VOD outlets.