Into the Mirror


Dir: Kim Seong-Ho
Star: Yu Gee-tae, Kim Myung-min, Kim Hye-na, Gee Ju-Bong

A series of bizarre deaths is plaguing a department store, jeopardising its reopening after a fire and perplexing security chief Young-min (Yu) - who only got the job because his uncle is company chairman. His failures lead to the case being handed over to ace cop Hyeon-Su (Kim Myung-min), with whom Young-min has had past unpleasant experiences; however, as the bodies continue to accumulate, their investigations head off in opposite directions. We know from the beginning, and our here eventually starts to realise, that people are being murdered by their reflections. But how do you convince the authorities this is the case, and what can be done to stop it?

That facet alone would make for a meaty film; the main problem here is a desire to cram in too many other, unnecessary elements that are dealt with in detail. Young-Min turns out to have left the police force after an incident involving...yep, you guessed it, a mirror, leading to the death of his partner. [You just know something similar will crop up in the climax!] There's also a takeover looming for the company, and elements like these divert from what would be a creepy story, draining the suspense and energy effortlessly built up in the opening half-hour through some simple, yet chilling, effects. At 113 minutes, it simply runs too long, and I'm in two minds whether the final twist is brilliant, like something from Lewis Carroll, or the most pointless scenario swerve in a long time. Guess I'll need to, er, reflect on that for a bit...

C
January 2005


Smoke and mirrors
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