Mirrors didn’t look too hot on paper, first up it is directed by Frenchman Alexandre Aja who really doesn’t have a lot of movies under his belt, add to this the fact that it’s a Hollywood remake of the Korean Horror; Geoul Sokeuro and you’re on shaky ground. Throw in Kiefer Sutherland as Ben Carson, the lead role, playing a disgraced former NYPD cop attempting to get his life on track and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
But then you watch the opening scene where a man on the edge of terror is trying out run an unseen assailant, ending up in a locker room where he turns to face a mirror, pleading with it, before taking a piece of broken mirror and slices his throat from ear to ear. Now you’re curious. This might actually turn out to be something interesting.
Then Kiefer steps into frame playing a drug dependant ex-cop who is about to take the wrong job. He quickly falls into the role and nails it, with a convincing performance, a performance that just keeps getting better as the plot demands more and more from him.
Being a night watchman at a burnt out department store he soon discovers why the man in the opening scene slashed his throat; there’s evil lurking in the giant mirrors that are the focal point of the first floor atrium.
And before you start thinking that this is going to turn out to be a cheesy, predictable play by the numbers slasher, think again. Mirrors is expertly paced, with enough freaky-scary scenes and the right amount of gore to have all but the most jaded film goer peering through their fingers at the screen from time to time.
It keeps you guessing for most of the movie, only stumbling once along the way to a fantastic ending. The whole mood of the movie, the dark a dreary apartment store and the staple horror music all play together to draw you in – blinding you to obvious plot holes – and allowing you to get the biggest adrenaline rush of the year.
Mirrors draws on our inner fears of the possibility of another world – a supernatural world where dark and evil forces are at work, and in the movie, mirrors, or any reflecting surface allow these forces to enter out world with devesting effect.
Alexandre Aja seems to have a knack for knowing when and where to put his special effects budget to work to produce a convincing story that stands out as the best horror movie I’ve seen since Descent.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: Not yet rated.
Duration: 110 mins.
Director: Alexandre Aja.
Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Cameron Boyce, Erica Gluck, Amy Smart.
Release Date: 13 November, 2008.