Mirrors 2 (2011)

There are certain sequels the world desperately does not require – The Cell 2, Boogeyman 2, Big Momma’s House 2 – and Mirrors 2 is definitely one of them. The original was a laughably bad mess that was unintentionally hilarious throughout, and the idea of a sequel makes the mind boggle. Unless, of course, the creators thought “Well it can’t be as crappy as the first one. Can it?” Yes, yes it can. Incredibly, incredibly crappy indeed.

Mirrors 2 is set in the newly built Mayflower department store in New Orleans. The previous Mayflower building was destroyed by Kiefer Sutherland after the demonically-possessed mirrors started killing people. Stupidly, the owners of the new Mayflower have transported a magically un-scratched mirror from the rubble of the New York building all the way to New Orleans, setting it up as the centrepiece to their lobby. Naturally this is a dumb idea.

When one girl goes missing and a security guard eats his own torch, we realise the mirrors are starting to be evil again. Or are they? Hiring grieving post-rehab depressive Max Matheson (Nick Stahl) as the new night watchman, this already haunted man begins to witness some very strange phenomena. Realising the “demon” in the reflections might actually be a murdered soul desperate for revenge / resolution, Max must find its killer before the spirit gets unnecessarily impatient and kills everyone he loves.

At the heart of Mirrors 2 lies a decent idea, but it is woefully executed. It liberally steals from Final Destination and every J-Horror film ever made, but never really has its own personality. The script is appalling, the acting terrible, the deaths poorly orchestrated and the plot startlingly pedestrian. The Mayflower department store doesn’t even look like a department store and some of the deaths are appallingly constructed (belly slicing fun anyone?). Many moments are far lengthier than they should be and boredom seeps into every scene.

The good points? Yikes, gimme a minute. Erm… some of the mirror-work is superbly done – with one genuinely brilliant dream sequence in the mirrored world – and Nick Stahl plays Max well. That’s it on the redeeming features, I’m afraid. Unless you count how hilarious it is.

The original Mirrors was a remake of Into the Mirror, a middling Korean horror from 2003, and original director / writer Sung-ho Kim is still helping to keep this forlorn franchise afloat. Last time out it was fallen-from-grace director Alexandre Aja who couldn’t salvage a decent film from a bumbling mess of a script. Mirrors 2 is helmed by the director of Return to House on Haunted Hill and co-penned by the writer of White Noise 2: The Light, so it literally had no hope of being anything less than laughably terrible.

What made Mirrors 1 infinitely watchable was the laugh-at-it factor. It was truly an abysmally hilarious mess of a film that should never be watched sober or you’d eat your fist off. Mirrors 2 touches upon the original’s hilarity but never quite reaches the height of Kiefer Sutherland pointing a gun at a nun and yelling “Don’t make me threaten you!” Mirrors 2 still has the po-faced self importance to it, but done much more lazily. The script raises some accidental comedy – the two detectives couldn’t detect a nuclear explosion if it went off in their soup – but it’s mostly the shoddy scares and dismal make-up effects that keep you sniggering throughout. Very funny, but not in a good way.

Depending on DVD sales of this straight-to-the-shit-bin release, this franchise might not be dead yet. Considering we ended up with The Butterfly Effect 3, Wishmaster 3 and (somehow) Big Momma’s House 3: Like Father, Like Son, the prospect of Mirrors 3 is a likely one. Upsetting, but very very likely.

Pointless, slow, poorly created and dismally stupid, Mirrors 2 is a shameful cash-in on an unwanted original and the result is accidentally amusing but truly terrible. Avoid.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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