Wednesday, February 23, 2011

#201. Mirrors (2008)

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.


Anonymous said...

hey there pod-host this was reviewed already on the podcast months ago if my memory serves me well
gobs of movie content here way to go
devout listener (r.m.h.)

Dave Becker said...

R.M.H.: Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment.

You are correct...MIRRORS was covered on episode #4 of Planet Macabre. You'll notice, from time to time, that I'll post movies we've discussed on the Podcast, mostly because I want to expand on my own thoughts and opinions of the film. MIRRORS was one I really, really enjoyed, and I just had to delve into it a little deeper.

thanks for the kind words, and for listening to Planet Macabre.

Ian Montgomery said...

I liked this one too. Some of Sutherland's panic reactions to the jump scares were priceless.

Dave Becker said...

@Ian: Sutherland was very good in this movie. Aside form the reaction shots (which were effective), I also liked how he handled the role of a husband and father looking for a second chance.

Thanks for stopping by!