Made towards the end of the horror wave that saturated the Eighties, “Mirror Mirror” was another indie horror flick involving high school brats at the mercy of an evil force with a gift for mayhem; arguably, because the film wasn't fully authored by a generic team of male exploitationeers, “Mirror Mirror” has a slightly different tone.
High school jocks, peer pressure, minor shower boobery, and teenage sex are all here (plus Karen Black's increasingly severe visage), but there's a stronger emphasis on the inner torment of morose duckling Rainbow Harvest (my, how she must have been teased in her own youth), and the cliques who make it near-impossible for her to establish more than one friend (Kristin Dattilo) in the small town.
Harvest, a dead-ringer for Winona Ryder, is deliberately dolled up to resemble Ryder's own gothic character from “Beetlejuice” during the first quarter; in an alternate universe, it's as though Lydia's parent's broke up, and instead of moving to that wacky house with Beetlejuice, the mother-daughter team settled down in a small town.
Directed by former MTV helmer Marina Sargenti (better-known for the teleplay “Child of Darkness, Child of Light,” and TV's “Models Inc.”), “Mirror Mirror” has a distinctive late-Eighties look (seriously boosted by a lot of blue gel lighting for ersatz night photography), and the source print for the DVD has adequate detail, but rather subdued colours. The Ultra-Stereo mix shoves the sound effects way in front, and though the film's dialogue is on the quiet side, the overall sound design enhances the personality of the demon who lurks on the mirror's other side.
This title is available separately or as part of Anchor Bay 's new “Mirror Mirror Collection,” which includes “Mirror Mirror," "Mirror Mirror 2: Raven Dance,” “Mirror Mirror 3: The Voyeur,” and on a bonus disc, “Mirror Mirror 4: Reflections.”
© 2004 Mark R. Hasan
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