Directed by Alexandre Aja
Disgraced ex-cop Ben Carson takes up a security guard post at the burnt out Mayflower department store in town in a bid to get his life back on track. Being expelled from the force after shooting a man and battling alcohol abuse has taken its toll on Carson but he’s determined to get clean and be reunited with his estranged wife and his two kids, who he occasionally visits.
Working the nightshift at the abandoned, singed former department store seems like the run-of-the-mill type affair: make sure no trespassers are messing about on the property and no further structural issues are present. However, Carson begins to notice things in a giant mirror, one of many mirrors in the building. His curiosity soon turns to fear as he begins to see other people and reflections of himself in the mirror, which in turn causes him to feel the suffering caused by the spectres in the glass. When his own family begin to see odd reflections in their own mirrors, Carson realises he needs to act quickly to put a stop to the horrors caused by the reflections in the mirrors.
Having heard about MIRRORS for a number of years, I finally got round to sitting down and watching it. As a remake of a 2003 Korean movie named Into The Mirror, I was a little pessimistic about how the film may pan out, knowing how American remakes of Asian horrors usually fare, but, not having seen the original, I thought this time it could be different. Watching the unrated Tormented cut of the film, I was pleasantly greeted with a gratuitous scene of violence in the movie’s opener which certainly made me pay attention. A grisly death later on, which involves the freakish display of someone having their jaw ripped open and off, is equally, if not more, disturbing to witness and, on these set pieces alone, I’d decided the film had some merit. Sure, the ropey storyline and wooden characters could be improved somewhat but it had some savagery too it which I enjoyed. Unfortunately, once the jaw had been yanked off, things quickly went downhill…
Walking into MIRRORS, the idea that reflections could cause harm was a fascinating one. We’re introduced to Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Ben Carson, who ends up gazing a little too hard into the mirror and suddenly starts to reap repercussions however the way in which the film is edited and the shallow character of Ben Carson means that interest in this plot wanes fairly quickly. Between wallowing in the bask of the dull reflections of the mirror inside the Mayflower to running to his estranged wife’s home, Sutherland’s darting here, there and everywhere becomes tiring fairly quickly, much like the storyline. Instead of gripping the viewer and taking them on Ben’s personal journey, which it’s trying to achieve, it jumps from one thing to another without any conviction in anything it does. Even the display at his wife Amy’s (Paula Patton) house, when she finally believes his concerns about the mirrors, is just painful to watch with her change of mindset just not that convincing as she’s pleading to Ben to help stop it. That being said, Paula Patton’s performance certainly picks up a maternal intensity in the latter end of the movie in which are probably the better scenes of the film and actually embrace the idea of how the visage in the mirror is affecting these characters.
As an overall package, MIRRORS is very weak. The bland script and haphazard execution leave a lot to be desired and whilst there’s a glimmer of real brilliance here and there, it’s just washed away in the murky reflection with an oh-so predictable ending. My fellow writers DJ Vivace and Ross Hughes had slightly better things to say about the sequel but it would seem this is a franchise that hasn’t exactly hit the high notes.