Dark Mirror DVD Review
Written by Sharon Davies
DVD released by Arrow Films
Directed by Pablo Proenza
Written by Matthew Reynolds and Pablo Proenza
2007, Region 2 (PAL) UK, 82 mins, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD Released 3rd September 2012
Lisaq Vidal as Deborah Martin
David Chisum as Jim Martin
Joshua Pelegrun as Ian Martin
Pablo Picasso once said “Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?” In this film our female lead will come to ask herself similar questions when facing into her deep and dark mirror.
Deborah Martin and her family move into a new house in Seattle where the multi-layered glass panels circling the home have enticed the family to buy. While Jim goes out to work, Deb decides to couple being a stay at home mother with her photography passion, and after a neighbour lets slip that her house holds a strange past this intrigues her to start photographing it. What she captures opens a door to her own sanity. What or who is constructing the evil which unfolds within the walls and if she shatters the glass what exactly will come spilling out?
I wasn’t expecting much from this low budget paranormal movie, a title such as Dark Mirror doesn’t inspire too much – however I really found myself swept along with the tale. The concept of hidden rooms appearing through reflections in mirrors and spirits being encased in the house’s glass foundations did seem like an idea which is, while not unlike movies before it, certainly a fresh direction away from your regular haunted house vibe. I enjoyed the inner struggle our main heroine displays as she nervously tries to understand what or who is stalking her and those she captures in her lens and will lead her to reflect on her own participation in the events.
The acting is pretty much solid (although they could have done without the OTT next door neighbour) and the director does well to build both tension and mystery surrounding the film's ending. Also the choice of location is good although a bit too much is made of this “glass house” when actually there isn’t THAT much glass, or many mirrors.
There are however some odd choices in execution / storyline. For example one scene where Deb scrapes a stranger's car, the owner of that car isn’t happy. Now I’m sure we all understand that but Jeez, this woman is REALLY unhappy, so much so that with all the banging and screaming that she massively overdoes, it made me think: Please something kill that woman or I'm going to have to. Also there are more than a few occasions where her husband underreacts to the goings on, and made me want to shout "Come on man, are you blind?"
All in all, a pretty OK movie. Nothing too dynamic and more along the thriller lines but you can certainly do worse.
Video and Audio:
The picture is clear and crisp and with some beautiful camera work and creative lighting and the audio supports the piece rather well. Considering the lack of budget this does at times stand up tall against more costly adversaries.
There's a trailer for the film, which has your usual “ill tempt you with the main parts of the film while keeping the meaning back. Behind the Scenes featurette runs just under 9 mins and shows the cast and crew overall workings and some behind the scene shots. There's also an audio commentary with main actress Lisa Vidal, director and co-writer Pablo Proenza and producer Erin Ploss-Campoamor.