In more skillful hands Pablo Proenza’s Dark Mirror could have come off as an average haunted house story, but loose direction and some seriously messy writing cement this
feature as total low-end nonsense. The story has potential on paper but the real problem comes from an accumulation of bad habits that quickly turn the viewer against the film. The film seems basic and haphazard; the story falls frequently into soap opera, the acting isn’t too good, effects look cheap, and the story fails at making us care one jot about anyone involved. Overall the film looks and runs like your least favourite episode of Goosebumps.
The story starts as a Seattle family finally choose a house in South California to their liking, Debbie (Lisa Vidal) is drawn to the house due to its bizarre windows and the fact an artist lived there before them. Slowly, the house begins to reveal a mysterious side as people connected to Lisa disappear and she notices a hooded figure following her everywhere she goes.
The look of the film is a major issue. It frequently lets itself down through some cheesy camera movements that make it seem like the product of overtly clumsy hands. Unfortunately the duff vibe of the film seems to rub off on Vidal who dances between some pretty good moments and some God-awful ones. Admittedly any punchy scenes come in the last twenty minutes which are by far the most interesting of the piece. The finale seems almost a separate film, enjoying a good pace and some genuine thrills, still, bad editing and some plain silly nonsensical actions result in a mixed bag of an final act.
A few interesting undeveloped ideas are skimmed past, but too few to rescue what, for the most part, is a disjointed and joyless affair.
Director: Pablo Proenza
Stars: Lisa Vidal, David Chisum, Joshua Pelegrin, Lupe Ontiveros