Despite its reflection, “Dark Mirror” isn’t an Asian horror film, but an American take on that genre. That writer/director Pablo Proenza was able to do more than a little with very little is a testament to this indie effort. Even if it’s not entirely successful, the end result is certainly admirable.
Lisa Vidal (apparently, she was on “ER,” but I’ve never heard of her) digs into the lead role of Deborah Martin, a happily married mother of one who moves with her family into their new home. Well, it’s new to them, at least. Someone else lived there before “ perhaps even something else, as she catches horrifying, near-subliminal glimpses of the otherworldly in her bathroom mirror. That’s what happens when you try to take flash photography at such a thing. Death, too.
Mirrors seem to be a budding subgenre in horror nowadays, as does this film’s trick of making you wonder whether the things Deborah starts seeing are real, or whether she’s off her rocker. Around the halfway mark, the narrative stumbles into a “repeat” cycle, but the red-blooded male in me admits to having my interest held with the periodic appearance of Christine Lakin as Deborah’s bikini-clad, apple-martini-swilling neighbor.
The movie looks better than its budget. Too bad the story isn’t just a little more original, in order to keep up. It’s a valiant try, however.