Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 28th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2007
Director: Pablo Proenza
Writers: Matthew Reynolds, Pablo Proenza
Cast: Lisa Vidal, David Chisum, Joshua Pelegrin, Lupe Ontiveros, Christine Lakin, David Farkas, John Newton, Jim Storm, Tucker Smallwood, Jay Knowlton, Jareb Dauplaise, Jean Carol, Susan Brindley
DVD released: September 3rd, 2012
Approximate running time: 82 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Arrow Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Synopsis: An aspiring photographer and her family move into a old house where many of its former occupants died under mysterious circumstances.
When it comes to horror films, there are primary two types of films that dominate this genre. The first type is your stalk and kill body count, while the other type is more rooted in things that are in the mind and not easy to explain. This latter one is more commonly referred to as a supernatural themed horror film. And when it comes to horror films that are rooted in the supernatural nothing is more important than the right amount of well placed atmosphere.
Content wise, Dark Mirror can be best summed up as a cross between The Shining and Mirrors. Well at least as a modestly budget versions of those aforementioned films. Dark Mirror’s circular opening hints of what is yet to come, most notably where this film’s protagonist’s journey is going to lead her. Though this film’s opening setup does take a big leap of faith from perspective viewers. Let’s just say if you buy into then you are sure to enjoy the ride for what it is, while everyone else will be watching the timer to see how much longer until this film is over.
From a production stand point this film often exceeds its meager resources. The cinematography does a superb job creating the much needed atmosphere to drive this story and pacing is never an issue. Performance things are little more problematic. With the only performance leaving any lasting impression being this film’s leading lady Lisa Vidal in the role of an aspiring photographer, who moves her family into a haunted house.
Arrow Video presents Dark Mirror in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well and details generally look crisp. It should be noted that there are very mild issues with compression during some of this film’s darker scenes.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. With the edge going to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English, which does a great good with channel separation and the more ambient apsects of the soundtrack.
Extras for this release includes a trailer for the film (1 minute 23 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette (8 minutes 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a audio commentary with co-screenwriter / director Pablo Proenza, producer Erin Ploss-Campoamor and actress Lisa Vidal. Topics discussed on the audio commentary include the origins of the project, the film’s main location, the cast, the look of the film and how the film was shot in just 18 days. Other extras included with this release is a trailer for The Shrine. Overall Dark Mirror gets a strong DVD release from Arrow Films.