During a conversation with her Mom, Deborah Martin (Lisa Vidal) digresses from their discussion about family problems to talk about the glass used in the homes windows. Deborah quickly grabs a book from the shelves, pointing to diagrams and explaining how the use of feng-shui keeps evil spirits out. It is one of the most hilariously grown worthy pieces of exposition ever committed to film. One moment a mother and daughter are awkwardly chatting about how they never see each other, the next “oh these windows are unusual”, “yes they are specially designed”. The camera even lingers on the diagrams of the “evil spirits” just so we’re sure we’re clear what the director is trying to tell us.
Dark Mirror is filled with non-sensical character moments and plot developments. Ultimately the film feels like Pablo Proenza had sat down and watched a selection of J-Horror films. Waking the next morning a sudden source of inspiration hit when he thought “why don’t I just do an American version of those films without buying the rights?”. Lisa Vidal puts in a committed performance and certainly conveys a sense of a psyche slowly unravelling. It’s a shame that she goes from feeling terrible in one scene, back to normal and then back to terrible. After realising that something she may be doing causes people to vanish Deborah is shocked and terrified. In the next scene she continues to do this particular thing before being shocked and terrified again in the next scene. Most of the other acting is either wooden or melodramatic.
Despite being billed as a horror Dark Mirror has the feel of an early 90s home invasion film like Hand That Rocks the Cradle or Pacific Heights. In fairness a couple of twists do surprise. Mostly because they come out of absolutely nowhere as opposed to a retroactive sense of realisation. The ultimate denouement is particularly hysterical for the characters reaction.
The photography looks flat and intended for TV screens as opposed to the picture house, which is surprising considering the main character is supposed to be a successful photographer.
This film is not scary, nor chilling, nor thrilling. It does for Horror what The Room did for Drama.