The real supernatural story behind Ed Boase excellent found footage movie The Mirror is a strange and compelling one with some stunning photographic and video evidence from the two Muswell Hill dwelling flat mates who found themselves in possession of a possessed mirror they then decided to sell on eBay.
The perfect inspiration and set up the fictional film opens with three housemates purchasing the aforementioned awful item with a view to recording any and all spooky goings on they witness to win a One Million Dollar Paranormal Prize offered by the James Randi Foundation for proof of the existence of spirits.
Set predominantly and cleverly in the confines of the trio’s flat the enthusiastic Steve (Nate Fallows) eggs on everyone setting up camera’s everywhere, desperate to capture something scary while couple Matt and Jemma (Joshua Dickinson and Jemma Dallender) join in but remain somewhat skeptical.
Although the mirror yields nothing at first things take a turn for the strange when Matt starts doing odd things while sleep walking prompting them to attach a mini camera to him to record his weird nocturnal wanderings.
From here everything quickly escalates as Matt refuses to let the other two watch what he has captured causing tension and arguments as everyone starts to feel the stress, strain and the supernatural impacting on their lives.
As you may know found footage is far from my favorite horror genre with a wealth of weak and worthless boring and banal entries in recent years prompted by the massive financial success of the Paranormal Activity franchise.
Many of the worst cases simply shove the faux documentary clichés and tropes over a script where it simply doesn’t work but in The Mirror it is the perfect format for the story and writer and director Ed Boase excellently crafts his movie, building everything slowly and stylishly, simmering the scares and the terrifying tension till it boils over in the chaotic and chilling climax.
Like a modernized reinterpretation of Robert Hamer’s great The Haunted Mirror segment of Dead of Night story wise Boase draws in elements of the classic found footage horrors from Blair Witch to V/H/S keeping things far more subtle and ambiguous at first which makes things far more interesting and engaging.
Credit is most definitely due to the cast who do a great job, realistically dealing with the eerie events many times mocking and laughing about what happens until things take a dark turn and the laughter most definitely stops.
As the annoying but oddly likable Steve Nate Fallows is a twisted instigator almost too eager to witness something in the haunted mirror. Probably the most complex character although on board at first Joshua Dickinson’s Matt becomes increasingly distant and angry being that he is the focus of attention due to his spooky somnambulism and stuck in the middle of it all is Jemma played by I Spit on your Grave 2’s Jemma Dallender trying her best to keep the peace and her fears under control.
Making more than the most of the low budget the special effects and make up are minimal but well done when they are used and disturbingly effective although the DVD box may ruin one of the best scenes somewhat for most viewers.
Simple but stunningly effective The Mirror shows low budget movie makers how found footage horror should be done while providing plenty of jumps and scares to keep audiences on the edge of their seats making it a great reflection on everyone involved.