The
Mirror Hell is easily the most
accomplished and confident of the films in the anthology which is no surprise
considering it was helmed by Akio Jissoj. Sticking to a fairly regular story
and narrative structure Mirror Hell
is essentially a battle of wills between a Narcissistic mirror maker and the
cool calculating detective Kogoro Akechi. Detective Akechi is something of a
common character throughout the Rampo writings and in Mirror Hell he is played with near shell shocked grace. Assigned to
find the cause of a number of connected deaths Akechi never appears
particularly interested in the case until mythical and mystical aspects are
uneartherd. His detached demeanour moving to childlike enthusiasm and almost
empathy with a character who should by all rights be his nemesis. Mirror Hell is a fantastic looking film
but is essentially empty in terms of plotline. There is a story but it lacks a
significant beginning and then seems to roll along at its own place until the
finish. It is a series of set pieces held together by the lightest narrative
strands.