Review Date: October 8, 2000
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 10/24/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Full Frame 1.33:1
A distraught woman awakes, unsure of where she is. Sister Aja (Veronica Cartwright), a nun, comes to her side and explains that she must rest, that she is very sick and is being cared for in St. Cecilia, an orphanage and retreat. The woman tells Sister Aja that she must read her diary and promise to take care of her baby. Sister Aja explains that the diary is full of the ramblings of a crazy woman regarding an evil mirror, and that there is no evil in the mirror, which is in the same room but covered with a black cloth. To prove her point Sister Aja goes and uncovers the mirror. An evil force is unleashed from the mirror, immediately blinding Sister Aja.
Seventeen years later - Marlee (Tracy Wells) and her brother Jeffrey (Carlton Beener) have just arrived at St. Cecilia's orphanage. They're watching a musical band rehearse. One of the band members starts snooping around and finds a closet containing a cloth covered mirror. On the cloths are various necklaces containing the cross of Christ. The band member decided to takes one of the necklaces, which causes the cloth to fall from the mirror, freeing it of its covering. Later, when the band members begin teasing her younger brother, Marlee wishes that someone would teach them a lesson. The mirror grants her wish and electrocutes all of the band members, killing them. Marlee is also hurt by the electricity and winds up in a hospital bed in the orphanage.
While Marlee is recovering her sister Roslyn (Sally Kellerman) shows up with a specialist, Dr. Lasky (Roddy McDowall). Roslyn insists that Dr. Lasky tend to Marlee while she is recovering, instead of the orphanage's doctor. Roslyn and Dr. Lasky have a plan to make Marlee sick so that Roslyn will become her legal guardian. Once she's the legal guardian Roslyn will have access to the inheritance their father left solely to Marlee. Soon a mysterious stranger comes into the picture - Christian (Mark Ruffalo). He arrives at the orphanage and greets Sister Aja, telling her that he had to come back and that it's been a long time. Christian shows up at Marlee's room late one night and the two begin to have a romantic attraction to one another. While all this is going on the mirror continues to increase its strength by using Marlee. As Marlee and Jeffrey begin to realize the mirror is evil they turn to Sister Aja for help. She warns them that there is evil in the mirror that can change shape to trick people, and that it can be anyone - young or old. Only the "innocent boy" can destroy the mirror. Now Marlee must determine who the evil force is and find the innocent boy that can destroy it.
When you have a horror movie that is somewhat original and moderately successful there's one thing that's almost guaranteed to happen - the inevitable sequel. Of course, the rule is that the sequel is usually horrible when compared to the original. Mirror Mirror II: Raven Dance is no exception here. While the original had some originality to it and a good story, the sequel has neither. If the filmmakers copied the concept of the first Mirror Mirror they would've at least had the typical non-original sequel, but instead they tried to give it a new concept to make it stand out from the original. Probably a good idea if it can be pulled off, but they failed with this sequel. Death scenes are lacking - in the original one thing I really enjoyed were the death scenes that are inflicted by the mirror. Sadly, there aren't nearly as many in the sequel and the ones that are there don't compare to the original. Rody McDowall is good as the conniving Dr. Lasky, but that is the only decent performance in this movie. Also, this whole "Raven Dance" in the title really confuses things. Yes, there's a raven that appears one or two times in the film. Yes, there's dancing in the film and it seems when Marlee is dancing the raven appears. Those are the only connections I was able to get. Sadly, when all is said and done Mirror Mirror II is just another crappy sequel that doesn't live up to the original.
Anchor Bay presents Mirror Mirror II it's its original full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio. As with the original film the transfer is fairly clean, though a few white specks and dirt occasionally appear. Image is moderately sharp with only a few soft spots. Colors are a bit faded in this one as well. Again, no doubt from it being a low budget movie. There are some occasional blemishes; probably close to the same amount that appear in the original Mirror Mirror. Given this sequel came 4 years after the original you'd hope this transfer would be superior, but that isn't the case at all. Instead, it's nearly identical to the transfer for the original - adequate, but far from perfect.
Mirror Mirror II is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo sound. Dialogue was clear without any distortion or background noise heard.
No extras are included on this DVD.
Mirror Mirror II is an extremely poor sequel. Audio/video presentation is decent and there are no extras to speak of. But who really cares when the movie itself isn't worth watching? Do yourself a favor and rent the original Mirror Mirror, which is a classic when compared to its sequel.
Movie - D
Image Quality - B-
Sound - A-
Supplements - N/A
- Running time - 1 hour 31 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- English Dolby Digital Stereo