Theatrical Review: Mirrors

Police detective Ben Carson is on suspension due to the accidental shooting of another police officer. Ben is separated from his wife and children and now he’s starting to feel the strain of all of his pressures. In order to help keep himself going, he takes on the job of a night watchmen over the burned remains of a former posh New York department store, the Mayflower. While performing his duties there, strange things start to occur that Ben sees in the mirrors that affect things on the outside… and from there hijinks ensue…

Mirrors is the latest film from French director Alexandre Aja who really impressed me with his French film High Tension and did a great job with the remake of The Hills Have Eyes. So with Aja helming this, I had some pretty high hopes with Mirrors being a fairly intense little film. Unfortunately, such is not the case, and I just have to wonder, what the hell happened?

Well, after seeing this, I found out that it was a remake of a Korean horror movie, and that explains a lot there, as I’m not really that impressed with a lot of the Asian horror films, but still one might think that someone as talented as Aja might bring something more to the table, but unfortunately he doesn’t, instead he delivers a film that follows the beats and with a couple of exceptions doesn’t really bring a whole lot of creepiness to this.

On top of that, the origins of this mystery are just as convoluted as can be, going in directions that are just constant left turns that seem to want to give the illusion of complexity but instead just feels like an overall mess (I sort of equate this to what Joel Schumacher did with The Number 23). As I was watching this, and considering what happens later in the film, I was put in the mind of an older movie like Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm which didn’t strive to put a heavy explanation on everything that was happening but more letting the audience come to conclusions of their own and thus making it far more creepy. It’s just a shame that we really don’t see that sort of thing any more.

Keifer Sutherland plays Ben Carson, and I like Keifer, I’ve been a 24 fan from the start, but here he’s just wrong for the part, and primarily because there just isn’t anything here that’s really that different from Jack Bauer. You’ll see Ben’s reactions to things here and it’s almost identical to something that Jack would do and so it doesn’t really work out to well in making Ben any sort of distinctive character. This probably could’ve worked better if you would’ve had someone like a Jim Caviezel in the part.

And on top of that, this is just needlessly longer than what it should be, and a lot of that is due to it’s convoluted plot. Oh it has a pretty cool ending, but by the time you get there, you just don’t really give a damn. Mirrors certainly isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen of the year by any means, but it doesn’t really do a whole hell of a lot to make itself stand out either and considering how talented director Alexandre Aja has been with his other films, that’s just a big shame. Hopefully he can get back on track with his next movie…

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

16. August 2008 by Darren Goodhart
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