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  Mirrors We're Through The Looking-Glass, People
Year: 2008
Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Amy Smart, Jason Flemyng, Cameron Boyce, Erica Gluck, Mary Beth Peil, John Shrapnel, Tim Ahern, Julian Glover, Josh Cole, Ezra Buzzington, Aida Doina, Iona Abur, Darren Kent, Roz McCutcheon
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ex-cop Benjamin Carson (Kiefer Sutherland) has started his new job tonight, as a security guard in a burned out department store that is the subject of legal wrangles over insurance, and has been for a number of years. Ben has been through his problems recently, having kicked his alcoholism that was triggered by accidentally shooting his partner on the force in the line of duty, and now his marriage has broken up, but he feels he can get his life back on track beginning with this new position. But what he doesn't know is that his predecessor left the post in very strange circumstances...

When Alexandre Aja's violent horror movies arrived on the scene, part of a new wave of such shockers that emphasised the shock aspect above all, he was singled out as one of the most promising of his peers. With Mirrors, however, he faltered, and the fact that it was yet another remake (of a South Korean movie) boded ill for the endurance of his comrades in gore, as of those who had seen the original, yet again the opinion was that this renewed version added nothing and took away rather a lot. In fact, so poor was the reaction that many considered this to be unintentionally funny instead of intentionally scary.

The whole story was built around the supposed fear of mirrors that people have, the sense you sometimes get that when you're looking into one the person looking back might not be quite you, or your reflection at any rate, and that some strange entity is staring at you from some unknown realm. Not a bad notion as far as it went, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwsie after seeing this, which took it as the jumping off point for a plod through phobias about falling victim to madness, and the fact that nobody will believe you when you tell them there's something odd going on, except in this case there is.

So when the already fragile mental state of Ben meets the big mirror in the empty department store he's meant to be guarding, he latches onto the theory that there's a being behind the surface responsible for all sorts of evildoing, starting with the fire that ravaged the building and killed so many people. Which meant yet again we had to follow a hero as he turned detective in a horror movie to track down the individual who could assist him in solving the mystery before the power was unleashed and, yeah, you get the idea, only here he had to save his sceptical family into the bargain, led by wife Paula Patton who wants him to stop scaring their two kids.

This being fully on the side of the unreliable dad, we must see Ben redeemed and he does so by ensuring that the demon source of the mayhem is laid to rest. The modus operandi of said demon is mainly to make its victims harm themselves or others in the reflection, thereby causing that injury to occur to the real person, as we see clearly in the pre-title sequence. Thus we are offered very silly scenes where Kiefer storms into his wife's house and removes or paints over the mirrors as if this is perfectly sensible behaviour as everyone else looks on baffled. This might have been a fun romp through a horror if it had picked up its feet more, but the truth was it was more of a leaden shuffle through a concept that gave you way too much time to consider that this might not have been the best method of spending your time. Add in far too many endings and most will be rolling their eyes well before the twist final reveal. Music by Javier Navarette.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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