Mirrors – USA, 2008

‘There is evil on the other side.’

Mirrors is a 2008 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Alexandre Aja (Crawl; Piranha 3D; The Hills Have Eyes 2006; High Tension) from a screenplay co-written with Grégory Levasseur. The New Regency production stars Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, and Amy Smart.

The film was a remake of the 2003 South Korean horror film Into the Mirror. However, Aja was dissatisfied with some parts of the original film’s story. He decided to retain the basic idea involving mirrors and incorporate a few of its scenes, but otherwise crafted a new story and script.

Plot:

In an attempt to pull his shattered life back together, troubled ex-cop Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland) takes a job as a security guard at the burned out ruins of a once-prosperous department store.

As Ben patrols the charred hallways, he begins to see horrifying images in the ornate mirrors that still adorn the walls. Ben soon realises that a malevolent force is using the mirrors to gain entrance into this world, threatening the lives of his wife (Paula Patton) and children…

Reviews:

“The Amy Smart death scene is the best part of the movie. The demon possesses her reflection and opens her mouth so wide that it rips the top of her head off like a Pezz dispenser. The end of the movie is one of those abrupt Shyamalanian “twists” that some people love so much.” Bloodcrypt

“I don’t know who I feel bad for more, Alexandre Aja for deciding to direct this, Kiefer Sutherland for starring, or the audience for assuming this was going to be a hell of a horror movie and ended up watching an accidental black comedy with a nonsensical narrative.” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

“Sutherland’s natural stoicism does make the more risible developments and dialogue a bit easier to stomach (a moment when he goes all Jack Bauer on a nun comes to mind).” William Goss, Cinematical

” …the movie could have been a lot scarier. The director, Alexandre Aja, knows how to reflect the fear in people’s heads, but he gets too ensnared in a backstory (a historical inferno, a little girl dragged to an asylum) that’s just gothic business as usual.” Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“The remake retains the sensationally creepy ending and it’s all reasonably done, but no real chills.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“The only thing less believable than the ridiculous plot is the over-acting of moonlighting ‘24’ star Kiefer Sutherland. On the plus side, the fire-ravaged department store where Sutherland’s alcoholic ex-cop now works as a security guard is impressively creepy.” Nigel Floyd, Time Out London

Cast and characters:

  • Kiefer Sutherland … Ben Carson – Flatliners (both versions); The Vanishing; The Lost Boys
  • Paula Patton … Amy Carson
  • Amy Smart … Angie Carson – Dead Awake 2010; StrangelandCampfire Tales
  • Cameron Boyce … Michael “Mikey” Carson
  • Erica Gluck … Daisy Carson
  • Mary Beth Peil … Anna Esseker
  • John Shrapnel … Lorenzo Sapelli
  • Jason Flemyng … Detective Larry Byrne – Eat LocalsForbidden Empire; Seed of ChuckyThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; et al
  • Tim Ahern … Dr. Morris
  • Julian Glover … Robert Esseker
  • Josh Cole … Gary Lewis
  • Ezra Buzzington … Terrence Berry

Filming locations:

Filming began on May 1, 2007 and Mirrors was filmed mostly in the Academy of Sciences building in Bucharest, Romania.

Technical credits:

110 minutes | 112 minutes (unrated) | 2.35: 1 | DTS | Dolby Digital

Box office:

Mirrors was released in North American theaters on August 15, 2008. The film grossed $72,436,439 worldwide on an estimated budget of $35 million.

Sequel:

A straight-to-DVD sequel, Mirrors 2, was released on October 19, 2010.

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