Directed By: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Amy Smart
Tag line: "There Is Evil........On The Other Side"
Trivia: Famed make-up artist Greg Nicotero appears briefly in a background of a scene in this film, playing pool
This is the kind of movie that really unnerves me.
Mirrors is the story of Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland), a New York detective who, while serving out a suspension, accepts a job as the night watchman for an abandoned department store that, five years earlier, was ravaged by a deadly fire. But as Ben will soon discover, there's more to this building than smoke-damaged mannequins and desolate hallways. During his nightly patrols, Ben notices there's something very strange about the hundreds of mirrors that line the walls, which seem to have a life of their own. Over time, Ben learns that the mirrors are, in fact, inhabited by an evil presence, one threatening not only his life, but the lives of his wife (Paula Patton) and kids as well.
There's just something about the supernatural that creeps me the hell out. Maybe it has to do with my 12 years in Catholic school, where the spiritual was drilled into my head on a daily basis, or it could simply be the notion that someone I can't see might be standing next to me as I write this. Whatever the reason, the cinematic world of ghosts and spirits is one that sets my skin to crawling, and that's exactly what happened while I was watching Mirrors.
For one, the movie has a number of effective jump scares, limited, at first, to the fire-damaged department store, but which soon follow Ben into the outside world as well (you cringe every time a character looks into a bathroom mirror). Then there are the horrific visions reflected in the mirrors, which include victims of the fire screaming for help, their bodies fully engulfed in flames. Along with the horror, Mirrors also proves an effective mystery; at one point, the mirrors scratch out a name, “Esseker”, sending Ben off on a frantic search for the connection between that name and the evil that hounds his every waking moment.
Though the movie does fall apart towards the end (when it's story becomes a bit sillier), its various scares, combined with the dramatic tale of a man trying to win back the trust of his family, helped make Mirrors a better-than-average horror film.