Into the Mirror (2003) Geoul sokeuro
Directed by Seong-ho Kim
Starring Yu Ji-tae (Ditto), Kim Myeong-min
Original concept, adequate cast, high production values, yawn absolutely soulless, uninspiring, bland and boring.
I saw this two years ago and thought it was pretty weak, since I wanted to cover a batch of Asian horror films (and because it was very cheap) I thought Id refresh my memory and rented the dvd. It wasnt as bad as I remembered, it was worse! Very slack pacing, terrible script and hackneyed performances dont exactly add up to a winner and it drags on and on and on, it may have been bearable at 90 minutes but it literally crawls towards the 2 hour mark.
The basics: Strange deaths are occurring in a new shopping centre that has replaced one which was destroyed by fire. The security chief is an ex cop who left the force after causing the death of his partner; he teams up with the police to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragic losses. Could they be suicides? Is there a serial killer? Perhaps it has something to do with the ghost that people have mentioned seeing late at night? I wonder if youll care by the end of the film, I didnt.
The shopping centre makes for a marvellous setting, mirrors everywhere and even where there are no mirrors you get reflections from puddles or windows, there is some clever camera work so at times youre unsure as to whether what you are seeing is real or a mirror image/reflection or illusion. I think a lot of the problems with the film boil down to the director coming up with a great idea but forgetting to make it interesting, engaging or well structured.
After all the hoo-ha its just another hackneyed female ghost seeking retribution against those that lead to her death. It doesnt finish there though, a final attempt is made to provide an original twist, unfortunately this only helps to make it feel like a story from Tales of the Unexpected, definitely too little too late.
If mirrors scare you then who knows, this film may work for you. Personally, the scariest thing Ive seen in a mirror is my own reflection, especially first thing in the morning.
So in my opinion its one to avoid, despite the original concepts, it is a snore-fest, the plot is too drawn out and the characters are instantly forgettable (not good for what is, essentially a character driven movie).
Something that is strange for such a mediocre film, the dvd is outstanding in terms of extras, apart from a commentary you also have the whole film in storyboards and countless other extras, in fact well over 5 hours worth. A great example of what can be done with dvds, just a shame the film doesnt really benefit from or deserve it.
BBFC rated 15
R2 dvd available from Tartan Video. R3 ntsc dvd available from several suppliers.