The Mirror

Cinematically, the year 1999 may well be remembered as the year of the low budget horror film in HK. Due to the box office success of the Japanese horror film – The Ring – many HK producers jumped on the bandwagon and knocked off a number of quickie horror films. Raymond Wong who certainly is never loath to jump on a good thing when he sees it produced this one. The film has decent production values and an attractive young cast – but it is missing a basic ingredient for a good horror film – being scary! That is somewhat important to a horror film. One wants to feel a shiver or two of fear walk up their spine – but that was not to be.

The film is divided into four different segments all with this mirror somehow involved. The problem though is that it is never explained what the mirror is or what powers it has. Just that bad things seem to happen to people who own it – but why? Perhaps it just brings out the worst in us – but that is never quite delved into.

Sherming Yiu
The first story actually only lasts a few minutes as it takes place in olden times and stars Sherming Yiu as a courtesan who meets up with a bad end. Is this the beginning of the mirror’s curse or just another chapter – again who knows.
Tsui Fan and Chan Sha Sha
The next segment takes place in 1922 Shanghai and Tsui Fan receives the mirror as a birthday gift – but it brings back to her all the bad things that she has done in her life and leaves her on the brink of insanity. Her maid – Chan Sha Sha is there to help . . .or is she?
Lynn Poh, Jack Neo and Raymond Wong
The film next goes to Singapore in 1988 and a lawyer – Jack Neo – picks up a woman – Lynn Poh - in a restaurant and takes her to bed. Though planning on having only a one nighter with her – her brother forces him to marry her. She brings along the mirror as her dowry. All of a sudden he seems willing to do anything to win a case for a rapist and murderer – and the dead victim – Raymond Wong – is not pleased.
Lillian Ho and Helen Law Lan
The final and longest story picks up in present day HK. Lillian Ho and Helen Law Lan are waiting for Nicholas Tse to come back from being away for a long time. Both expect that he will marry Lillian upon his return, but he brings a nutty Ruby Lin with him and announces that he is going to marry her. They go out and buy the mirror – and soon things start going dead in the night – but who is it that the mirror has gotten to?
Nicholas Tse and Ruby Lin
The Shanghai piece has a good eerie mood to it, the Singapore segment is pretty awful and the HK story has a good idea in there somewhere, but the pacing of it is very slow and it loses what suspense could have been there.

Still these anthologies are at least a good opportunity to see some of the new talent coming up. Tsui Fan had a strong presence about her – and Lillian Ho is about as cute as they come – but still . . .

My rating for this film: 6.0