Mirrors in Films: Duality, Secrets and Revelations, and the Passage to the Otherworld

Mirrors can play many roles in films. (Narcissistic) film characters can utilise them to satisfy their vanity (“Gone with the Wind” (1939)); to ego-boost (“Taxi Driver” (1976) or “La Haine” (1995)); for self-examination or to marvel at their transformation (“The Aviator” (2004) or “Vanilla Sky” (2001)); or films use them for dramatic showdowns (“The Lady from Shanghai” (1947)), among many other roles and meanings. However, in this piece, I would like to focus on three interpretations in particular: (i) the usage of mirrors as they demonstrate the character’s dual nature (often revealing the character’s evil/bad nature when that character otherwise appears good); (ii) mirrors used to emphasise secrecy or to reveal secrets; and (iii) the use of mirrors as certain clandestine passages to the Otherworld.   

“Psycho” Review

Psycho [1960] – ★★★★★ 🚿 A true classic which stood the test of time, revolutionising the presentation of horror on screen and showcasing Hitchcock’s unparalleled talent for creating suspense. Adapted from a novel by Robert Bloch, this film is a classic of psychological horror genre, which practically revolutionised the way horror films were shot ever since…