The writer and director Andrew Getty started this film back in 2002 when it was titled "The Storyteller" and was released in 2017 under the current title, two years after Getty's death due to an ulcer causing internal bleeding. This is a shame as he spent so much money on the project and wasn't around to see his creation brought to life... or take credit for it.
The story is about a mentally handicapped man, Dennis (expertly portrayed by Frederick Koehler), living in his brother's, John (Sean Patrick Flannery), care. Dennis is plagued by twisted and dark nightmares for which a tall grey man claims responsibility. Then one day John and his girlfriend, Lydia (Dina Meyer) bring home a mirror for Dennis' bedroom. Dennis hates the mirror as he doesn't want to loose his hamsters like he's lost his comic collection. However, his decision changes when his reflection starts talking to him and offers him a way to get better... to get smarter...
It was the trailer that had me salivating at the thought of watching the film. However, be aware the movie isn't how it looks on the trailer. Instead of an exciting run-of-the-mill horror what Getty gives his audience is a deep and powerful insight into the human psyche and not just through Dennis, but all of the other characters have some kind of dysfunction. John is hiding a secret. Lydia has relationship issues. Even Pete (Tim Bagley) - who is only in the film a few minutes - hates people touching him and invading his person space.
The film can even be taken a couple of ways. It could be a very dark psychological thriller or it could be a supernatural entity possession, making it a horror. It works in either genre.
The star of the show is Frederick Koehler as Dennis. He is brilliant at portraying the character, giving him facial ticks, body form, hand gestures, and a speech impediment. His acting is really believable and draws the audience into the film more. However, it's Flannery's and Meyer's characters that appear flat at times, a little too dimensional and wooden; I think this may be the characters they were playing or the direction at the time of the scenes, as both of them are good actors. It just jars the mood and atmosphere at times and this is a bad thing as the movie depends on mood and atmosphere, which Getty builds beautifully. It's also great to see Michael Berryman again.
This film reminds me of Phantasm in its essence and spirit, and like Phantasm I will gladly watch this film again... and again... and, probably, again... There are a lot of interesting and well thought out concepts in this story, which should send a chill down your spine. However, if you prefer shock horror over creepy and atmospheric then this probably won't be your cup of tea.