The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Archive for July 21, 2022

Dark Image

That’s odd. Justin’s name isn’t anywhere on this thing, but Dark Image (also released as Mirror Image) is listed as one of his films, co directed with frequent collaborator Chris Freeman.

I like the cast – Leslie Easterbrook and even an Eric Roberts cameo lent it a bit of street cred, and the film opens in a nicely eerie black and white. Ferris wheel….girls on swings and a pair of sisters – with one murdered.
Years later, she’s trying to cope with the death of her sister and off on a getaway to help jog here memory about what happened. So is the cop (suspended for tampering with the evidence) that investigated the case, and he’s trying to drag his partner back into it. The captain (Roberts) warns him off but he’s determined.

Meanwhile, the girl is seeing things – maybe her meds are out of synch?Her shrink warns her that if it keeps up, he’ll have to send her back to the institution.That’s not stopping the flashes of bloody hand prints and dead sister in the shower though…..
It’s a good and creepy CGI haunting that pops up sporadically though the film while the cops stalk them, trying to perhaps pin the murder on the sister. The  whole haunting has a strange Dante influence – curiously artsy for a film with such frequently flat lighting. Still, it’s the setup for what happens next – and all secrets are revealed when the devil opens her memories.

The thing is, this thing really isn’t sure if it want’s to be a police thriller or a horror movie – and it’s not quite sophisticated enough to balance those two things like a Giallo would. Perhaps with a bit more length and intrigue. I know I’m, the LAST one to say a movie is too short, but at 76 minuets, there’s no time to misdirect and ratchet up tension, or lean into the possession aspect. Freeman and Jones manage a  few spectacular images towards the end, and I’m definitely glad I watched it…but there’s not enough repeat value here for me to really consider returning to it. (And I know that for a fact. It’s so forgetable, I accidentally threw it back in my Youtube queue and it took a good ten minuets of trying to figure out if I had seen it before. Fortunately when Eric Roberts shows up – hes always an unforgettable performance!)