On cannot be repeated enough : to make a good horror film, it is necessary to first find the object on which to focus the anxieties of the spectators. By becoming THE MIRROR for its French release, the friendly OCULUS already gives away what will be the object chosen to attract and catalyze all the fascinations that push-ups on its reflective surface. We follow here the fight for Kaylie to clear her brother Tim, and prove that the death of his parents was in reality the work of a mirror evil, able to manipulate the human mind. If the idea of a mirror like the abstract form of an entity demonic is not really original, as already operated in the year 2000 by Black Mirror and its remake indirect Mirrors, it guarantees a potential for dizziness psychological requiring a subtle and devoid of visual gore tape-to-eye. It is this perspective that seems to have chosen Mike Flanagan , his creator, and by focusing on the tensions experienced by these two protagonists; but, alas, the outputs of the road are many, and in spite of these jolts of horror putassier, the film never really afraid.
The trouble with THE MIRRORis that it is a film that is uneven, shoddy, mix poorly co-mingled of good and bad elements, in each of the main components of the scenario to the direction of actors through the treatment of the terror, as if Flanagan was the inspiration and the rigor necessary to his project than episodic; a day with, one day without. Moreover, from the beginning of the film, something seems to dissoner in the game of actors, most of which has mostly worked on television. Sometimes in-game, sometimes in game, the variations of tension and fragility that are torturing their character gives them a hard time. In this first part, only Karen Gillan manages to put its special charism, a mixture disarming between strangeness and awkwardness, in the service of his character, Kaylie, who seems more and more disturbing to the views of his obsession with the mirror. This proposal for a protagonist worlds away from the usual gourdasse in distress, whose look and behavior puts you almost as much ill-at-ease that the object is evil, is without doubt the best idea of the film. It causes a flux and a reflux of empathy to the point that we no longer know who to believe, her or her brother Tim to be more rational and more determined to turn the page of their childhood trauma.
“A horror movie that’s entertaining without being scary.”
After this phase of exposure, while the device that follows serves also to confront their contrasting visions of the past and the paranormal. It is a device seen and reviewed over the last ten years, by which Kaylie nose home family camera and screen control to prove the presence of demonic forces. Here the barnum technology has the merit to remain sufficiently discrete to not capture the scene and to allow the main interest of the second part of the film, namely the phenomena of apparitions or hallucinations, which take travellers back our heroes in their past. If the superposition of two eras through a clever play of mounting is not completely original, it is here perfectly mastered and allows beautiful modulations in the narrative as the time line seems to be deformed.
But those who have seen and enjoyed the remarkable Abandoned by Nacho Cerda, will be like me disappointed to discover that the same treatment of space-time and the trauma in childhood leads to the same outcome and the same morality concerning the past. The movie would have thus gained to make further progress in the opportunities it was afforded by its concept; the principle of the mirror of evil is the pretext for a game on what we see, what we believe to see, that we think to be reality, or rather illusions, it offers all of the others, ghostly apparitions and hallucinations of rigour; and once the contract is completed, the curtain. No doubt, some viewers will be satisfied with the show, others like me, will regret that its author is not thought to other indices, other traps, or where fewer attempts by which our hero would have been able to continue their fight against the insaississable threat.
Thank you to Colin for his help.
• Original title : OCULUS
• Achievement : Mike Flanagan
• Screenplay : Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard; based on the short film, Mike Flanagan’s Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with The Plan (2006)
• Main actors : Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff …
• Country of origin : USA
• Theatrical release: 11 April 2014 (USA) DVD Release France : April 15, 2015
• Duration : 1h48mn
• Distributor : Relativity Media, Intrepid Pictures
• Synopsis : After having spent 10 years in a psychiatric institute, Tim, 21 years, found the freedom. Then he wants to draw a line on the violent death of his parents, in the event the source of his internment, his sister, Kaylie reminds him that they were once promised to investigate the mysterious causes of this drama. She then buys the mirror, which would have precipitated their parents in a demented evil…
Sublime transfer HD, a few sound effects though significant for this kind of production.
• Publisher / distributor : TF1 / Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment
• Video Format : SCOPE 1080p AVC 16: 9 native
• Audio : DTS-HD 5.1 French and English
• Sub-titles : French.
• Supplements :
– Short film “Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with The Plan” by Mike Flanagan, the origin of the film “The Mirror” (2006 – 32′ – VOST)
– Making OfTRAILER