Mirrors

2008-11-04 09:53
 
What it's about:

Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland) is an ex-cop who accidentally killed a colleague in a bust gone wrong. Suspended from the force, he hits the bottle and separates from his wife and two children. Attempting to get back on his feet, he takes a night security job at the derelict Mayflower – a posh multilevel New York store that burnt out under mysterious circumstances five years ago. Ben soon realises there's something wrong when he sees hideous visions in the mirrors that hang around the store. Soon the thing that's tormenting him begins to appear in his home and pursues his family.

What we thought of it:

Mirrors is one of those throw away horror movies that won't annoy you so much if you happen to see it on TV late on a drunken Friday night. Every now and then there is a hint of talent, but for the most part it regurgitates cliché after cliché in a lazy and joyless manner.

Kiefer Sutherland spends his time bouncing between harried and angry, and he makes a passable man halfway into a nervous breakdown. The problem comes in when his façade remains unchanged, even in the face of unspeakable horror – he reacts the same way to a teary argument with his wife as he does to being menaced by the living dead. Amy Smart is sweetly pretty for the few minutes she appears in the movie, and the rest of the cast run around like frightened rabbits, only with less expression.

The Mayflower (doesn't this sound a lot like The Overlook from The Shining [1980]?) is the best thing about the movie – the entrance hall is a blackened cavern ringed by burnt and twisted mannequins, with eerie silver mirrors staring out of the devastation like cat's eyes. Sadly the story that takes place in and around this magnificent setting is a rushed rehash of other superior films.

Some of the imagery also manages to be creepy, despite the uneven pacing. The highly stylised flashback sequences are actually quite scary, and I don't know why they are so brief and why the director didn't consider trying to achieve similar scares in other parts of the movie.

As a fan of the genre, it grates me to sit through horror movies that are so lazy and unambitious that all they strive for is enough decent footage to stick in a trailer. But that's unfortunately the norm nowadays. Mirrors isn't the worst movie I've seen, by a long way, but it doesn't try very hard and the results speak for themselves. There's nothing here you haven't seen done better by many other movies.

- Ivan Sadler

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An ex-cop going through a personal crisis takes a security job in a burnt out old apartment store haunted by a strange entity that drove several previous security guards to suicide.

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