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May
12

Supercut Saturday: Mirror Scare

David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as David Kessler and Jack Goodman in the film An American Werewolf in LondonA supercut is a massive compilation highlighting a very specific element of movies or television. Usually this is used to point out an overused cliché. Sometimes it is used to highlight the idiosyncrasies of a particular artist, usually an actor. These supercuts are usually used to criticize but can also be a celebration.

You know the moment.  The character on screen is looking at themselves in a mirror.  They open the mirror to get something.  When they close it someone or something is standing behind them.  They jump.  We jump.  This is the mirror scare.

Watching this supercut made me think about why exactly the mirror scare is so affective.  Is it because we have our interpretation of reality radically shifted within a few moments.  Or is it because a moment of safety is so radically violated with no warning.  Or maybe it is because when we are looking in a mirror, we see ourselves, and if that proves to be inaccurate, maybe we don’t know ourselves at all.

Just some food for thought as you watch this supercut.


One thing I learned from watching this is how ineffective the mirror scare is without the build up.  There needs to be moments of tension leading up to this moment.  Otherwise, it simply doesn’t work.  The very last one in the supercut goes on long enough that we are able to get a taste of the tension and experience how a mirror scare can work.

Also, I think this definitely shows how overused this scare has become.  The last half is interesting because it shows filmmakers reacting to the overuse of the mirror scare by giving the set up with no delivery.  I wonder if that is possibly more affective.

This supercut was assembled by YouTube user richfofo.

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