Looking Glass Review: A Slow Burn That Eventually Cracks

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After losing their daughter to a tragic accident, shattered couple Ray (Nicolas Cage) and Maggie (Robin Tunney) purchase a motel in the middle of nowhere in the hopes of starting a new life. But Ray begins to notice strange goings-on and starts to piece together the history of a bizarre murder associated with the motel.

Poking around in a basement one day, Ray discovers a crawl space, which leads to a two-way mirror into one of the rooms. As he becomes obsessed with the unusual activities that happen beyond the looking glass, his marriage, sanity and his very life are threatened.

looking glass review

I’m not quite sure why the silver-screen heroes of such memorable films seem to bog their CV down with B-movies in their later years. We have Travolta, Willis and now Nicolas Cage. Looking Glass starts off with some beautiful mood that plays out like a classic American 80’s movie. The cinematography conjures up some wonderful scenery and each and every shot showcases the atmosphere of what we are seeing on screen.

The cinematography is a saving grace in this movie as Looking Glass builds me up and then shatters me to pieces in the third act. As Ray notices the strange goings-on in his newly acquired motel I feel as thou the plot is slowly leading up to something. We have a previous owner who has made himself disappear, we have a trucker and a dominatrix who are obsessed with staying in room 10 (the room containing the two-way mirror) and we have a cop that may be the weirdest character I’ve seen on screen for some time. What Looking Glass doesn’t provide thou, however, is an explanation. Our minds are open to interpretations as to why this trucker and dominatrix love the room so much. Did the tenants know about the two-way mirror when the previous owner Ben (Bill Bolender) was around? Did they like him watching? Was the bed a little comfier than the other rooms? We just never find out and sadly that’s where Looking Glass falls short.

looking glass review

A slow burn that sees Nicolas Cage go through the motions and Robin Tunney plays his wife Maggie who has a rocky history of her own. Ray like Maggie also has a strange history so there is always a hint of whodunnit rolling around from scene to scene. Both parties are equally suspicious and what little we know of their backstory still leaves us asking questions.

Just as the film pieces together some logic and the script starts to finally make sense it feels as thou pages were burned to ash by the time the third act arrives. Looking Glass just runs out of steam and it feels as thou all the loose ends are left hanging in the outback breeze. I feel like with some explanation and a bit more depth in terms of story, Looking Glass could have been something really intriguing. It’s got the vibe, it’s got the cast but sadly as the film draws to its conclusion you’re left with far more questions than answers!

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