Directed by Marina Sargenti [Other horror films: Child of Darkness, Child of Light (1991)]
A satanic mirror? Sounds like it has potential. And really, Mirror Mirror did, and I wish that I could have liked it more. For something like the first half of the film, I was enjoying it pretty shamelessly, but then the second half happened, and the route changed, leaving me an old and bitter man.
This same type of plot has been done in later films, such as the Canadian television movie Devil’s Diary, so it didn’t feel that fresh to me (despite the fact this came out 17 years earlier). It’s an interesting idea, what with a teenage girl becoming addicted to the power of an iffy mirror, but it went down a path I didn’t much care for, and while the end redeems a bit of the lost potential, it was too little, too late.
Playing the goth teen Megan, Rainbow Harvest (which is indeed her real name, apparently) really felt like a slightly older Winona Ryder’s Lydia. She had a solid punk/new-wave/gothic look that I sort of liked, so of course she was picked on mercilessly by others in the school. Her mother, the well-known Karen Black, was pretty solid, though I felt somewhat bad about where the movie eventually took her.
One of my favorite sub-plots in the film dealt with a class president election between bitch Charleen (Charlie Spradling, from Meridian, a movie I saw not long before this one) and the one nice girl, Nikki (Kristin Dattilo). I’m a sucker for politics, so seeing an underdog campaign being fought against the establishment bitchery was a solid source of entertainment. It didn’t hurt that Dattilo was an attractive actress, and Spradling had a lovely nude scene later in the film.
It’s when the mirror, which has been causing some distressing incidents in Megan’s life, such as a massive nosebleed suffered by someone during lunch, or a brutal asthma attack a teacher has, starts sharing the power with Megan, and she becomes almost a witch, that I start losing interest. Because at this point, the strange outcast girl becomes the dangerous, school-shooter type (instead of guns, she has an evil mirror, but what’s the diff?), and she loses much of the sympathy she fairly possessed beforehand.
Now, it gets a little better, as Nikki tries to save Megan from herself, but by that point, things are pretty much a lost cause (both Megan and and Nikki have lost loved ones, so any victory at that point would be hollow anyway). Still, we got a solid death by steam in a locker room shower, and someone else gets impaled by glass, so it’s not all bad. The suspenseful garbage disposal scene, too, was worth seeing.
As a movie overall, though, Mirror Mirror fell flat, which was a damn shame, as it really did start off decently well, only to lose it’s way as the movie goes on. It’s a movie that’s probably good for a single watch, but unless my view on this one changes the next time I see it, it won’t become a 90’s favorite of mine.