Tuesday, September 29, 2020

H2020: #7 Amazing Stories: "Mirror, Mirror"

Air Date: March 9, 1986
Written by Joseph Minion (story by Steven Spielberg)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring: Sam Waterston, Tim Robbins, Helen Shaver, and Dick Cavett

Steven Spielberg's anthology series Amazing Stories ran for two seasons on NBC. Although the show attracted the best talent of its time, the episodes were often uneven, as most TV anthologies tend to be. In an After Hours reunion, "Mirror, Mirror" was directed by Martin Scorsese and scripted by Joseph Minion. 

The 24 minute episode follows famous horror writer Jordan Manmouth (Waterston) who finds himself being terrorized by a phantom from one of his movies. The episode begins with Jordan doing a TV interview with Dick Cavett on his latest film. He confesses to taking great pleasure in terrifying people. Jaded by wealth and fame Jordan lives in a lonely mansion surrounded by reminders of his creations, telling a limo driver (Tim Robbins) he finds agents and ex-wives much scarier than his horror stories.

"Mirror, Mirror" is mostly a disappointment, reminiscent of a Night Gallery episode which were famous for squeezing an entire story out of a horror gimmick. The concept, a writer being haunted by their own creations, has potential for irony and dark humor, but it never goes anywhere: we get a cycle repetitive scenes. Scorsese included some Hitchcockian shots that will delight cinephiles, but the story ends with a thud. At best a footnote in the prolific careers of Spielberg and Scorsese. 

No comments:

Post a Comment