Looking at the title for something like Into the Mirror is interesting to begin with. With a title like that, one might seriously consider this to be a very interesting, and maybe a metaphorical, horror movie. From director Lois Stevenson, Into the Mirror focus on Daniel, a young man struggling with an inner identity that is desperate to be realized. After leaving his father to move to London, Daniel’s subconscious desires begin to take control. Led by his new co-worker and having found London’s Drag hotspot “Lost & Found” nightclub, Daniel realizes his life will never have to be the same again.
From a story and writing perspective, Into the Mirror seems to have something that sounds promising. Covering themes of struggling to find who you are, father and son relationships, and the loss of someone close, Into the Mirror seems to have a sense of strong and thematic subject matter. Unfortunately, all of that is buried deep beneath a lot of issues.
Right from the start, the character of Daniel (Jamie Bacon), is the type of character that’s easy to sympathize with. He doesn’t talk very much, he’s very much to himself and he’s trying to get comfortable in a different environment. In regards to overall performance and full character arc from Daniel, it’s not all that interesting. By the end, he’s still the same shy, anti-social individual that we were first introduced to in the beginning of the movie. Granted, we do see him go through some slight obstacles and what have you, but at the end of the day, there’s not much to say about his character.
Also, Into the Mirror is one of the most wildly inconsistent movies in recent memory. Into the Mirror attempts at being a drama, love story, and, even strangely enough, a horror/thriller movie. Okay, maybe the horror part was a bit of a stretch, but there are certain sequences where it seems as though the audience is supposed to be frightened. The horror-like aspects of this movie felt uncomfortable and completely unwarranted because nothing about it felt organic because the movie doesn’t really know what it wants to be. The movie fails to focus on the main narrative and has no identity due to the number of things it’s trying to balance from so many other genres.
The short runtime of only 65 minutes was disappointing, considering that there is much more to explore in the psyche of Daniel and his environment. The audience is only given hints and never the full picture, which works in some films, but here more is certainly better. Adding about 30-40 minutes would enable them to flesh out more of the story and characters, but sadly that isn’t the case.
Into the Mirror does offer aesthetics and a score/soundtrack that will definitely please certain film fans. Into the Mirror has an almost ’90s feel, with an ’80s style of music. That’s arguably the one thing that this did the best, however, it does suffer from horribly placed music at the worst place times, creating a distraction from all the important things that’s taking place.
Into the Mirror has some genuine moments sprinkled in; however, it’s a very underwhelming experience which doesn’t live up to the promise as it doesn’t seem to know what to do. Into the Mirror doesn’t offer an interesting narrative to begin with and it’s hard to sense the type of genre that it would qualify as. The unbalanced nature in it’s tone makes it hard to understand what type of movie it is. Additionally, it’s disjointed in its tone, the performances aren’t that strong, character developments are shockingly weak, and basic structure is lacking. There was a beginning, maybe a middle, but there wasn’t a definitive ending due to the movie not taking the proper time to develop it’s characters and the conflicts that surround them. This is a movie that sounds great on paper, but the unfortunate imbalance of so many genres becomes a distraction and deducts a lot of enjoyment and feelings which Into the Mirror so clearly aims to inspire.
In select theaters beginning June 21st, 2019.
For information on where to find a screening near you, head to the official Into The Mirror website.
Final Score: 2 out of 5.