I suppose you could really blame Asia for all of this. Hell, I do.
Somewhere during the ’80s, our brothers and sisters in Japan decided to incorporate some of the classic elements from their timeless (not to mention creepy) ghost stories into cinema. At the time, a popular and cost-effective method of filmmaking was what we commonly refer to as “direct-on-video” (often referred to as “V-Cinema”): movies that were made specifically for the home video market, and that were not restrained by any sort of censorship laws.
Although horror films were hardly new in Japan, the V-Cinema boom spawned an entire phenomenon of what enthusiasts now call “J-Horror” — wherein indie moviemakers started to crank out one disturbing horror film after another. Much like the bird flu epidemic, the J-Horror phenomenon caught on with other parts of the continent. Soon, even countries like Korea were making their own creepy “K-Horror” films.
Then, around the beginning of the 21st Century, the American film industry finally received word that there were people in Asia making movies. Not only were they making films that didn’t revolve around Godzilla or Jackie Chan, but that the crafty devils were (gasp) manufacturing horror films that were comprised of original material! Naturally, we couldn’t sit back idly and permit this sort of thing to happen — even if it had been happening for the better part of twenty years.
So, American studios began remaking Asian horror films (J-Horror and K-Horror alike). And, to ensure that American audiences didn’t feel uncomfortable over seeing nothing but Asians onscreen (to say nothing of alienating viewers even further by making them read subtitles), our remakes cast a lot of white folks; white folks that suddenly found themselves being besieged by ancient Asian beliefs and superstitions that make absolutely no sense to us in the first place.
And since originality has never really been a strong point with modern American filmmakers, we inevitably began to produce direct-to-video sequels to films that were remakes of direct-to-video films to begin with.
It boggles the mind, really.
The latest unwanted direct-to-video sequel to a remake of a direct-to-video film nobody ever asked for is a lukewarm ditty entitled Mirrors 2. Much like the first film (well, the remake), Mirrors, Mirrors 2 focuses on a deadly supernatural force that causes peoples’ reflections to murder them — in more far-fetched and ridiculous methods than many sane individuals can or would possibly care to imagine. One character is nearly killed by his own pizza cutter, while other, less-fortunate dolts are dispatched by their own shower doors, gutted like fish, or are forced to eat large chunky hunks of glass. Sure, most of ‘em had it coming to begin with — not so much because their characters are EVIL, but because the actors portraying them settled for the cheapest agents they could find.
Inheriting the acting reigns from the original Mirrors lead Kiefer Sutherland (a phrase that lacks the rather prestigious ring of “Kudos!” that it once had), Mirrors 2 features the illustrious acting talents of Nick Stahl — a performer that simply won’t go away no matter what kind of crap he appears in. Nick plays Max, a severely-damaged lad trying to recover from the fateful night that he lost his fiancée in an automobile accident. Despite the fact that this boy is a walking train wreck, he gets a chance to do some nightwatchman duties for a gallery run by his father, portrayed here by the great William Katt (who is the only real star here — and, please take a second to think about the connotation of that remark and bear in mind that I really do like William Katt).
As it turns out, Max’s predecessor went a little nutso and met a nasty accident involving glass. Why? Well, as Max soon learns thanks to his half-ass ability to see dead people — an aftereffect of his car crash — it’s because of a missing dead girl; more specifically, the absent deceased sibling of Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugier). Buying his “I see dead people” story wholesale (Haley Joel Osment was not available for comment), Elizabeth teams up with that guy from Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and, together, they try to figure out what happened their careers.
The result? A tepid tale of killer mirror images featuring a bit of decent gore, some truly crappy CGI effects, and acting so bad that it could even stop one’s own reflection dead in its tracks (sorry).
Seeing as how Fox Home Entertainment sent me a DVD-R screening copy of this title, I’m afraid an accurate estimate on how the audio and video elements of this release is not possible. So there.
Well, despite that Mirrors 2 is an utterly worthless flick, we can at least take solace in the fact that it provided a number of people with the opportunity of thinking they were important for a few days and to kiss each other’s ass mercilessly. This is abundantly clear if you should happen across either of the two featurettes included with Mirrors 2 entitled “The Other Side: Making Mirrors 2” and “Keeping It Real: The Visual And Special Effects Of Mirrors 2.” Throughout each behind-the-scenes look at the film, cast and crewmembers alike talk about how wonderful it was to work with such talented people on such a marvelous and, above-all, original film. Ugh.
Also tacked on to the disc are two very brief deleted scenes and a look at other Fox-released titles.
Honestly, unless you’re after cheap laughs, second-rate thrills, or you just want to see actress Christy Carlson Romano (the voice of Disney’s Kim Possible) get nekkid and hop in the shower — which, needless to say, is the best part of the film — you won’t miss a thing if you leave Mirrors 2 on the shelf.
Just be sure to blame Asia when you pass it by.