Director: Sammy Bates
Production Company: Rotting Corpse Productions
One Sentence Synopsis: Film adaptation of “The Reaper’s Image” by Stephen King
Release Date: 2013
Running Time: 31 minutes
Website: Click Here
Trailer: Click Here
Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 3.5 Moons (out of 5)
Based on the short story “The Reaper’s Image” from bestselling author Stephen King comes a bone chilling tale about a museum curator, Johnson Spangler, who seeks a prized antique mirror that is rumored to be cursed. Denying the mirror’s dark past, Johnson must purchase it from sleazy antique shop owner Samuel Claggert. Upon purchase, Johnson must remove it from the shop’s attic with guide Mr. Carlin who is scared to death of the DeIver Glass. The two journey to find the prized possession, but it isn’t the only thing they find. They say only chosen people can see the reaper’s image in the glass…will you see it?
Okay, I have to be honest, when the movie started I was worried that I was not gonna be pulled in. The opening scene takes place in “England;” the English accents are not very good (though better than Kevin Costner’s in Prince of Thieves) and why is there a portrait of Kentucky senator Henry Clay in a British home? Then it happened! The mirror, known as the DeIver Glass, has its effect on a young lady and I’m now intrigued to continue watching the movie. Matt Mooningham, playing Johnson Spangler, does a great job of coming off as the prick that you pray will see the reaper’s image and die. His emotions and frustrations really come out as the skeptic who doesn’t believe in the horrific tales. David Haney, who plays the “superstitious” guide Mr. Carlin, does come off as authentically afraid of the DeIver Glass especially when recounting tales of previous experiences with the famed mirror. Before seeing this short film I had never read nor heard of the short story by Stephen King and it compelled me to read the original version. Director Sammy Bates does a great job of sticking very close to the original story and bringing it to life.
Considering the budget for the production of this film ($250, the mirror being almost half of that), I was impressed with how the cast and crew were able to pull it off. The special effects were good enough in that they were not overdone, and when people saw the reaper it just leaves the audience with a sense of wonder. The victims don’t just fall down dead or get literally scared to death; they just seem to have the life sucked out of them and are left in a state of being brain-dead. (And you don’t see the reaper with each victim.) The musical score done by Collin McSweeney does a great job of setting the mood of the particular scenes. The camerawork did not seem amateur, though some of the acting did. However, cast and crew were not paid; they did it all out of the passion for filmmaking. In my opinion, that is very admirable.
I am a fan of horror literature, and Stephen King’s short story is very Gothic in nature. The idea that an antique mirror is cursed and that some people see Death coming up behind them in a mirror is quite frightening. And since Goths are often accused of being obsessed with death, who of us in the community wouldn’t want to see this short story brought to life? I would encourage those who haven’t read it to check out the short story, then watch it come to life in the short film.
Would you look into the DeIver Glass as a skeptic, without fear; or would you rather ask a mundane to look at themselves in the mirror and see their true self? Next question, please…
Story: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Presentation: 2.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 3.5 Moons (out of 5.0)
Credit: Banner Image from WallPaperUp.