Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I watch a lot of bad movies and for the most part I enjoy watching these movies as they tend to go places and do things that movies with larger budgets and big stars simply aren’t willing to do, but this particular weekend I’d had enough. I needed to watch something with some production values behind it, something that cost money, a movie in which every member of the cast and crew only had one job to do. This would mean a movie where the star didn’t have to double down as the Script Supervisor. ‘Mirrors’ fit the bill. I had no real desire to see this movie when it first came out because quite honestly I’m pretty tired of Hollywood remakes of Asian films but this one does have Keifer Sutherland in the lead role and that actually means something. Because of Jack Bauer I know that Mr. Sutherland doesn’t need any money and if he’s taking on a movie project there must be something there that piqued his interest. Of course he might’ve gotten wind that Paula Patton, arguably the finest female specimen on God’s green earth right about now, was playing his wife and that could’ve piqued his interest, but I’m hopeful that Keifer Sutherland isn’t nearly as shallow as I am. As it turns out ‘Mirrors: The Unrated Version’ that I watched was just what the doctor ordered. A highly watchable professionally crafted horror flick that makes almost no earthly sense, but still managed to be fairly entertaining from start to finish.

Sutherland is defrocked New York City police officer Ben Carson who has been struggling for quite a while as he is somehow responsible, or not, for the death of a fellow police officer. It’s never really quite made clear as it really isn’t all the relevant to the plot I suppose. Ben had taken to drinking to get over his pain, which has led to his pathologist wife Amy (Patton) booting him out the house, with Ben sleeping on his sister Angela’s couch (Amy Smart) until he can get his life together.

One of these steps in getting his life together would be Ben finding a job because as he informs his sister he can’t support his wife and their two children on his pension alone. Now I would think that a NYPD pension combined with a wife who is some kind of M.D. should pay the bills pretty good, but if Paula Patton told me I needed to get a job then I guess my ass would be in that long unemployment line trying to get a job. Well as it so happens there is a sudden opening for a night security guard at the burnt down Mayflower department store. We actually saw in the films opening sequence how this sudden opening came about. It only takes a single night for Ben to realize that there is something seriously wrong with this place, covered in soot and burnt counters and messed up mannequins except for those freaking, crystal clear mirrors. Mirrors that show stuff that you can’t see on the other side of the reflection and mirrors that have handprints on the inside that can’t be cleaned. Mirrors that seem to have the ability to kill whoever they want, wherever there happens to be a simple reflection.

Well Ben attempts to convey these concerns to others, such as his mighty fine but terribly bitchy wife, which only makes him appear crazier than he already is, and after a particularly heinous tragedy Ben realizes that he has to be a little more proactive and take some initiative in finding a solution to this problem. Fortunately there is a solution, and it’s a good thing that Ben has some investigative skills to unearth this solution, but there is a clock on this solution, that is if Ben likes having a hot bitchy wife and cute kids in his life, and this clock is ticking down to zero.

Directed by Alexandre Aja whose last two film I saw in his ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ remake and ‘Haute Tension’ proves that the young man has a fine visual eye. This is fairly clear with this film as well considering ‘Mirrors’ is loaded with atmosphere, style points and creepy imagery. The film straddles between a horror story and a mystery since it is integral that Carson use his detective skills to figure how to stop what going on, and Aja also handles those two elements fairly well. This being the second post ‘24’ movie I’ve seen Keifer Sutherland in, three if you count his voice as General Monger in ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’, but with this movie and ‘The Sentinel’ it would appear that Sutherland has found a good thing in Jack Bauer and he doesn’t look like he’s all that interested in getting too far outside that character. He might’ve added a little extra crazy for Ben Carson but it’s nothing that anybody watching FOX on Monday nights isn’t accustomed too.

Despite the fact I did find the film entertaining it really wasn’t all that scary. I have resigned myself to the fact that movies simply don’t have what it takes get to me anxious anymore, but I still thought the level of creepy imagery would’ve had more of an effect. There was some gruesome stuff floating around, but gruesomeness and fright are two totally different things. Also the story really didn’t make a hell of a lot sense. Sure we understand that killer mirrors is fairly out there and that in itself doesn’t make any sense, but these things still need be governed by some kind of rules which go a long way into us buying into these fantastic situations. However as ‘Mirrors’ played on it became increasingly obvious that were no rules and if there were then they were quickly abandoned in service to shock or jolt the audience, such as the rather nutty final chase scene. It didn’t work for me, but it might for you.

Regardless, ‘Mirrors’ was the right movie at the right time for me personally. Now I can get back to doing what I do, being that my need big budgeted Hollywood style nonsense has been temporarily satiated.

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