One hundred and six minutes of a small cast talking to and sometimes yelling at each other in a small room. That’s what you’re in for if you decide to watch writer/director Jason Fite’s film Through A Dark Mirror. Normally that’s not a description that would get me interested. But the film’s mix of a battle of wits between police interrogators and a mysterious suspect with possible supernatural elements sounded just different enough to make me curious.
The setup is quite simple. It’s 1992 and six healthy men in various locations around England have all died at the same time. The only connection between them is that they all deposited 50,000 GBP (about $130,000 accounting for inflation) into the same bank account. The account belongs to one Bryan Tyler (Alexander Tol, Soul Reaper) who, apart from this account, doesn’t seem to exist.
Picked up while making a withdrawal he now sits in a police interrogation room. DCI Dawson (Peter Parker Mensah), an experienced interrogator, is sure he’ll be easy to break. Along with the arresting officer, PC Gore (Rikki Stone) and Dr. Rhodes (Leonie Zeumer) he begins the task. But the suspect relates incidents from his confidential disciplinary record it’s obvious this is anything but a normal case.
What follows is a verbal game of cat and mouse that revolves around a claim Tyler makes which I can’t, for obvious reasons, reveal. The resulting back and forth is an impressive mental battle. And in which it certainly seems like one of the parties has some kind of abnormal or even supernatural advantage.
Obviously, if you need action, Through A Dark Mirror is not going to satisfy you. There is some near the film’s end but 99% of the film is mental and verbal gymnastics. It’s all the more impressive given the lack of experience on the part of both the cast and crew. The script and performances are on a level I’d expect from a much more experienced team.
At nearly two hours long Through A Dark Mirror could use a bit of trimming, but it never really drags. There are just a few places where the mind games don’t really work and it could get to the point a bit quicker. But that’s a small quibble for a film that kept my attention for so long with almost nothing but dialogue.
Taking cues from Silence of the Lambs, The Usual Suspects and Mr. Frost, Through A Dark Mirror is an odd film. But one that will reward those who can stay with it. I’ll leave it at that before I end up dropping any spoilers.
Freestyle Digital Media will release Through A Dark Mirror on DVD and digital platforms on June 16th. You can check the film’s website for updates.