Reviewed by: mejones
Summary: ANOTHER horror anthology?
Basically, there's this dressing table/mirror thing which witnesses a murder early in the 20th Century, gets splattered with blood and thereafter draws similar types of bloodshed to itself. What exactly it DOES is kind of vague and you get the feeling the scriptwriter didn't know, either!
The first story concerns a wheelchairbound woman in, Shanghai in the 1920s. She's given the mirror by her cousin, only trouble being her cousin has been dead for years! It was kind of an interesting story, but the performances and the multitude of flashbacks in this 30 minute segment detracted from it.
The second part revolves around a Singaporean lawyer during the late 1980s. He gets conned into an engagement and his future bride brings the mirror into his home. Under it's influence (or is this REALLY what happens?) he takes on a case that he'd formerly been opposed to; that of an accused rapist/murderer. This was really the most boring of the three, though what happens to the lawyer in the end is pretty funny!
Lastly there's the story of Nicholas Tse, his girlfriend Ruby Lin, grandmother Helena Law (would it be a HK horror film without her?) and cousin Lillian Ho. Nic returns home from studying abroad with new girlfriend Ruby (who grandma keeps calling a Xmas tree!!!). This much to the consternation of his whole family who expected him to marry Lilian, who's been taking care of grandma Law this whole time! Well, off they go shopping, and shopping, and MORE shopping till they come across the mirror in an antique shop. One thing leads to another until the inevitable tragedy strikes.
I think that if this last part had been developed and had been the only story the movie might have really been worth seeing. But as it stands? If you're a HUGE Nic fan and want to drop $2 on a VCD, go for it! Otherwise, it's a big pass!
Reviewed by: ryan
Summary: Mirror, The (1999)
Horror movies seem to be the dominant genre in Hong Kong film these days. After an already crowded summer of horror flicks, we are now having a new batch of them.
The two latest additions are 'Troublesome Night 6', and 'The Mirror'. '
The Mirror' tries to come off as fresh by casting younger performers Such as Nicholas TSE Ting-fung, Lillian HO Ka-lei and Ruby LIN. Can this film stand out in the recent flood of horror movies?
'The Mirror' is a movie made up of three stories centered around a mirrored table. The mirrored table is actually a haunted table where an innocent girl died.
In 1922, a physically disabled girl in Shanghai received a special present on her birthday -- a mirrored table. Once she receives the table, strange things begin to happen.
The second story is set in 1988 in Singapore. James (LEUNG Chi- keung), a lawyer receives a surprise present for his birthday from Lora, a girl with whom he had a one night stand.
Later, James is forced to marry Lora by her brother. As a wedding gift they receive the mirrored table. Strange things soon occur -- James suddenly takes up a court case for a rape-murder which he had earlier refused to take... The last story happens in Hong Kong in 1999.
YU (Lillian HO Ka-lei), who has been dating Ming (Nicholas TSE), lives with Ming's Grandma (Helena LAW Lan). When Ming returns from an absence, he is engaged to marry Judy (played by Ruby LIN). One day, Ruby buys a special mirrored table, which plunges the whole family into crisis...
When you read the newspaper, it is said that the movie features Nicholas TSE, Lillian HO, Ruby LIN and Helena LAW. However, you will be totally disappointed if you expect them to star in the movie. These four performers only appear in the very last story. It would be hard for you to tolerate waiting an hour to see these performers if you didn't like the first and the second stories.
As a horror film, the movie is just okay. After watching the whole movie, it is still hard to understand the nature of the mirror is, and what caused the mirror to be so evil. Before the beginning of the three stories, there is a sub-plot on the source of the table. Within this sub-plot I expected the writers to talk a bit about the background of the mirror. Unfortunately this wasn't included, which left me feeling like they should have cut the whole sub-plot.
For the structure of the story, the first story is typical but it is well developed. For the second story, the beginning of the plot is relatively redundant. I expected that there should be more development on the changes that occur after James and Lora buy the mirrored table. For the ending of the second story, the flow is okay, but it could have been made much scarier.
In the last story, the one in which we have the greatest expectations, the plot development is inadequate. Things seem to happen in a hurry. Though the story is able to set the background for the hate between Ruby and YU, it fails to set up a sensible relationship between Ming's Grandma and Ruby. The sudden change of Ruby's attitude towards Ming's Grandma is too extreme. At least there should be some struggles between Grandma and Ruby to make the sub-plot more believable.
'The Mirror' is simply an average movie. If you attend the film wanting to see Ruby LIN and Nicholas TSE, you have to note that they won't be featured for the first hour! Though the movie is not too bad, I really cannot appreciate their dubious way of promotion.