Director – Alajandre Aja
Cast – Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Cameron Boyce, Erica Gluck, Amy Smart, Jason Flemyng
Release Year – 2008
Reviewed by John of the Dead
French director Alexandre Aja is really making a name for himself. After giving us the epic “High Tension” in 2003, he then gave us the brilliant “The Hills Have Eyes” remake in 2006, and now he gives us a pretty good remake of the South Korean film “Into the Mirror” with 2008’s “Mirrors”. I usually do not look very highly on remakes due to the fact that for the most part the idea is unoriginal, and they usually just tend to be Hollywood b*llsh*t thrown into stories that Hollywood was not creative enough to think of themselves. However, Alexandre Aja is defying the notion that all remakes are crap by giving us remakes that are either just as good, or pretty much even better than the original films. He is going to continue his dominance in the remake scene with “Piranha 3-D”, a remake of the 1978 cult classic “Piranha”. If this brilliant director hits another home run with this upcoming film then I can see him being permanently etched in time as one of the horror greats, with lots of time to add more greatness to his resume.
This film follows Kiefer Sutherland as Ben Carson, a former NYPD detective, and alcoholic, who is still traumatized about accidentally killing another cop. He takes a night watchmen job to watch the remains of the Mayflower Department Store, which a giant department store that was partially destroyed by a fire many years earlier. The film picks up quickly with Ben seeing many strange and unexplainable occurrences involving the mirrors during his very first night on the job. Soon enough Ben realizes that whatever is lurking in the mirrors is not isolated to the Mayflower Department Store, but is following him home as well. With proof that his loved ones are at risk of very violent deaths involving the mirrors, as well as his bitch of an ex-wife not believing a word he says, Ben must go beyond the law and take matters into his own hands in order to solve the mystery and keep his family safe from impending doom(quite similar to Kiefer’s character in “24” right???).
Alexandre Aja did a great job with visuals and atmosphere in this film. Damn, this guy just knows how to create suspense! The wide, scenic shots of the old Mayflower Department Store bring you into the scene and set a dark mood right from the start. I’m sure producers could have cut this guy’s budget 25 percent and he still would create the same suspense with his ingenious use of shadows and camera angles. Thanks for Mr. Aja, you will also most likely boycott mirrors for a few days. Haha. The idea of this film revolving around mirrors is genius because anyone who is watching this most likely has several mirrors in their home, and because you are viewing this on dvd or the internet…lives in a developed country with mirrors basically anywhere you go. Is this story maybe a statement of how vanity and materialism are killing us? That sure would be sweet if it was the case.
I was at first very surprised at the idea of Kiefer Sutherland playing the lead in this film, he’s great in “24” and “The Lost Boys”, but I was skeptical of him taking on a role that will test his character psychologically. However, I believe he did a fantastic job and sold his character right away, and he even added his all too intense “Jack Bauer” craziness that we’ve all come to love and respect. :big smile:
I really enjoyed how this film took off right from the start. After a quick and pretty freaky opening scene, we go through plot development while at the same time seeing good suspense, which helps keep the viewer’s interest. Too many times I see good films, with good stories, just seemingly lose the viewer because they just take way too long with development and then get to the good stuff. This film hit’s it perfectly by not skimping out on development(which is always important), while keeping us on the edge of our seats. This film is ESPECIALLY great if you are watching this by yourself, in a dark room, with at least one mirror within peripheral vision. WOW. Trust me, you are either going to completely block out thoughts of that mirror(impossible), or actually leave your seat and take it down. I did neither, and found myself pretty freaked out by it. I highly suggest in future films that you help your horror experience by creating an atmosphere around you that is quite scary, which can be as simple as watching it by yourself in a room with no lights on. Trust me, it works!
As I mentioned earlier, this film is pretty darn freaky. The scares are great, and are sure to give you goosebumps at least once during the film. I also really enjoyed the one pretty brutal gore scene in this film involving the “bathtub”(all I will say due to spoilers) scene. That scene is the typical Alexandre Aja brutality that we are just dying to see with each film that he makes. This scene is unforgettable, and may force you to not check yourself out in the mirror too much. Hehe.
My only real concern with this film would be the ending. Although it was unexpected, it was not an overly original ending. I’ve seen this “type” of ending several times in the last few years in various horror flicks and it is basically a like/dislike type of ending. You be your own judge of that.
Overall, I found this to be a really good remake that is sure to please fans of the supernatural horror genre, as well as basically everyone else in developed countries where mirrors are common items found in each household.
- I ranked this film #8 in my Top 10 Horror Movies of the Decade post.