Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mirrors - 2.5/5

When it comes to Alexander Aja, the man is becoming a genre legend already. With his explosive "High Tension" that shot him into the mainstream Horror lingo and his subsequent remakes that he has pumped out since then have all been more than impressive. Except for one. "Mirrors". Although I'm not going to trash on this film like most fans have been, it is a significant drop in quality for the French Horror filmmaker. Also a remake of the Korean "Into The Mirror", "Mirrors" comes off as a rather by the numbers ghost tale that never really earns its own way out of the pack.

Ben (Sutherland) is a down and out suspended detective that has been struggling to keep his own life from falling apart. When he takes a job as a night security guard for a burned down shopping center, he begins to head down a path into hell that is spurred on by the perfectly polished mirrors of the building. When the visions he sees start becoming real and knocking off the people he knows, he goes on a quest to uncover a conspiracy that leads him decades into the past to put a lost soul at rest.

Despite some great visual work from Aja, the problem with "Mirrors" lies straight into the heart of its story and script. Aja massively changed the original story for this new vision and for the most part off rails it into mediocrity. Starting off with the cool premise of a cop on the edge and strange mirror murders, it eventually dwindles into another 'whodunnit' solve what happened to the haunter mystery. Seen it before. It doesn't even seem to concerned with doing the rather run of the mill story with all that much heart, coming off as a half assed attempt at the Asian ghost tale.

Visually, the film is pretty striking though. Aja knows how to mix atmosphere and brutality nicely and some of the tense moments work and all of the visceral violence works too. Amy Smart's death is particularly memorable and the final act (despite lacking a unique story) comes off as quite intense. It's too bad that the majority of the acting and the script just couldn't match the vision that Aja had for the film.

"Mirrors" is a nice rental or one time watch to see some of its more intense moments that Aja brings to the table, but too much of the film is undermined by the lacking story and script. It's fine for what it is, but overall its not near as impressive as it could have bee. This is the first misstep for Aja and his Horror catalog. Hopefully his last.

BONUS RANT: I love me some Kiefer and his general audacity for shooting randomly and cussing all the time, but its not quite the best fit for this movie. I kept wanting his character to start to unravel into a frenzy and never really got that. I mean, seeing him shoot mirrors and yell as he is lit on fire is always fun, but its not the depth that this desperately needed. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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