The Witch's Mirror (1962)

Written by Milo_Jeeder on February 14, 2017

Most Latin American people are familiarized with those Mexican soap operas that are overflowing with baseless action and pitiful situations. They're undeniably amusing and it's all right to watch them if you're too bored and you want to have a good laugh. However, it's not funny anymore when you really trust an old Mexican Gothic horror film and you find one or two similarities between those ridiculous soap operas and the movie you wanted to see. Firstly, I would like to say that I do not mean to be rude to anyone with this review. I know Mexican people are very nationalistic and they tend to stand up for their films a lot. I understand that and to be honest, I actually really enjoy Mexican horror films too. That's the reason why I was somehow disenchanted when I found out that "El Espejo de la Bruja" was not exactly as good as I was expecting.

The film sets in motion with a very well done introduction to the main characters, a beautiful woman named Elena and her godmother, Sara (also known as… The Witch!). The view is quite stylish and atmospheric. Both characters look darkly beautiful and yet naïve somehow. In this opening scene, Elena becomes aware of a very shattering truth about her approaching fate, through the magic mirror that belongs to her godmother. Unfortunately, this depressing reality cannot be altered, since all judicious witches know very well that the itinerary of life, is not meant to be disrespected. Broken-hearted and clueless, Elena has no choice but facing the reality and becoming a victim of her atrocious fate. As it was stated previously, all bright witches know very well that fate is not meant to be changed, however, there are no laws aligned with revenge. In "El Espejo de la Bruja", we see a resented woman trying to make justice and claim for the blood of those who harmed her goddaughter. Sara is the witch and when witches are good, they're very good, but when they're bad….

It would be unfair to say that "El Espejo de la Bruja" is only laughable and overwhelming when it comes to making a reasonable balance. My only problem is that there was a little bit too much action for my taste. During the first half an hour, it is like the audience has nothing else to see, but there's still more and more and more. All of a sudden, a dramatic Gothic horror tale turns into "Re-Animator". The bad thing is that the humorous situations are not exactly intentional. Armando Calvo's performance is perhaps one of the worst in this film and his facial expressions are merely side-splitting. The rest of the cast is all right, but the problem is that Mr. Calvo looked over the top all the time, which is a tragedy, considering that he's the leading male character. Then, there are all these scenes in which we see Rosa Arenas's character wearing some kind of big bandage that covers her entire face, with the two little holes for the eyes. That is perhaps one of the most hysterical images ever and I'm not just talking about this particular film. It resembles the invisible man, but wearing a delicate night gown. "El Espejo de la Bruja" is full of action, which can be entertaining for moments and overwhelming for others. It has a few good things that make it enjoyable for all horror fans, for example, the already established but still welcomed clichés like: owls, dark shadows of Satan, lots of fire, graveyard scenes, phantasmagorical silhouettes and of cats!. Overall, an okay flick, but I still think I'm not the only one who lost interest during the last minutes, ironically due to the overindulgence of action. If you're in the mood for a good Mexican Gothic horror film, rent "La Maldicion de la Llorona" instead.