Description: Fassbinder protegee Ulli Lommel directed this moody, atmospheric but ultimately derivative horror film about a dark family secret and the broken mirror which releases that secret's malignant spirit. The film's prologue opens in the 1960s, when a young boy conspires with his sister to murder their mother's cruel and abusive lover. Flash forward to the present, with both siblings scarred by the emotional demons of their past: the boy has remained mute since that fateful day, and his sister (Suzanna Love, aka Mrs. Lommel) is tormented by nightmares. If that weren't enough, a literal demon is released when the old mirror which paid witness to their deed is shattered, releasing their victim's enraged spirit to seek bloody revenge... and he's not too particular about who he takes it out on. Released on the coattails of Halloween, this film retains many elements of John Carpenter's seminal work (brooding piano/synthesizer score; 20-years-later supernatural revenge motif) and borrows heavily from The Exorcist for its demonic-possession climax, but retains none of those films' well-crafted suspense, choosing instead to rely on shock effects and shots of sharp objects plunging into throats, eyes, mouths and abdomens. Lommel's use of rich colors and inventive camera angles lends a suitably creepy mood, but a better script might have elevated this one to true cult-classic status. Followed by a tired sequel constructed mainly of reused scenes from its predecessor.~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide
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