Film Reviews

MIRRORS

By • Aug 17th, 2008 •

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Alexandre Aja proved that he was a talent to watch when in 2003 he came out with the French shocker HIGH TENSION. When it was released in American theaters I knew it was only a matter of time until he made the move to the states to direct horror for the Hollywood audience.

Anyone familiar with me knows that I enjoy a good horror film and, except for the ending, HIGH TENSION is on my list of recent faves… but that’s another review.

Fast-forward to 2006. Aja’s remake of THE HILLS HAVE EYES hits theaters, and is a success both at the box office and with audiences. For me, it was a let-down, but the film did prove once again that Aja knows what he is doing technically. He wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of brutality within the Hollywood studio system.

Which brings us up to date with MIRRORS. Another remake, this time from a Korean film called INTO THE MIRROR. I thought the trend of remaking Asian horror films was over, but every once in a while one comes along like THE EYE or ONE MISSED CALL to remind us just how bad they can be. When my feelings for these types of films collided with my positive feelings toward Aja, I became both hesitant and curious as to how this movie would turn out.

MIRRORS is about Ben Carson (played by Kiefer Sutherland), an ex-NYC detective, and recovering alcoholic, who is trying to patch things up with his wife (Paula Patton) and stay close to his two children. He takes a job as a security guard for an old department store that someone had recently set aflame. He soon discovers that there is a sinister and supernatural force at work that inhabits the mirrors. The mirrors become a threat to both him and his family, and until he can unlock the secret behind the mirrors, no one is safe.

For the most part, the film is well done. The actors do the best they can with the expository dialogue: we find out that the reason Ben is an Ex-detective is because he accidentally shot and killed a cop. This bit of character development soon becomes abandoned. We then find out that the girl he is living with is his sister (played by Amy Smart). We find this out because instead of calling her by her name he calls her “sis”. Then, just in case it wasn’t clear, she says “I’m your little sister, you can talk to me.” Do you see how this dialogue might get annoying?

At times the movie is eerie, but mostly it relies on loud pop-out scenes in order to jolt the audience. Gorehounds will be satisfied, because it serves up a good amount of the red stuff (there’s one jaw-dropping scene in a bathroom that is hard to shake). On the other hand, If you are the kind of person who needs logic in their films, I suggest you keep a safe distance from this one. Even after the payoffs are explained, both in dialogue AND the visual aid of flashbacks, they still don’t seem to make any sense.

MIRRORS is far better than the usual Asian horror remake, but that isn’t saying much. In the end, it is a big disappointment only because I know Aja can do better. I’ll stay hopeful about him.

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