Mirrors (2008) Movie Review
Written By: TJ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Alexandre Aja
Producers: Alexandra Milchan, Grégory Levasseur
Writers: Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur
Date Released: August 15, 2008
Kiefer Sutherland as Ben Carson
Paula Patton as Amy Carson
Cameron Boyce as Michael Carson
Amy Smart as Angela Carson
Ericka Gluck as Daisy Carson
Jason Flemyng as Det. Larry Byrne
Mary Beth Peil as Anna Esseker
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
After being suspended from work, Detective Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland), begins his first day as a night security cop at Mayflower Department Store, a luxury shop that was gutted by fire five years ago. During his night walk inside the building, he begins seeing things reflected in the mirrors that are not happening in reality. However, he also feels the sensation when his reflection is being set on fire or being cut. When his sister is brutally killed, he confronts the mirrors believing it is responsible for every terrible thing that happened. The word “Esseker” forms on the mirror implying that this is what they want. Ben seeks the help of his colleague, Detective Larry Byrne (Jason Flemyng), after discovering that the Mayflower Store was originally a Psychiatric Facility and Anna Esseker was one of the patients. He gets all the information he needs from Larry and drives all the way to a secluded Monastery, where Anna Esseker (Mary Beth Peil) is said to be staying. Now, Ben needs to convince Anna to go with him or he and his family are next in line to impending death.
Mirrors (2008) strikes immediately in gory detail after featuring an opening scene with a man slitting his own throat. Thus, setting its tone that this is going to be a bloody film that has no boundaries. Sure enough, most scenes are composed of wince-worthy imagery such as autopsies with open chest cavities, pictures of brutal killings, people being burned alive, and basically blood and guts. But the real horrifying and stomach-churning scene is when Angela’s reflection kills herself by parting her jaws until the lower one hangs with just a few threads of skin attaching it to her face. When Ben saw his sister during the investigation, he vomits his stomach out. Well, who could blame him? Mirrors definitely did not save money on makeup and prosthetics department because you will see the jaw-dropping results throughout the film (pun intended).
The Grave Review
A remake of the Korean film Into the Mirror (2003), Mirrors (2008) gathered a lot of bad reviews from critics, as what horror remakes usually get. Upon watching it from start to end, I highly think otherwise. French director Alexandre Aja showed his penchant for genuine scares and violence, and surprisingly, it complements the film so well. Mirrors is not perfect, but its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses and as a matter of fact, it gets better as it goes.
Storyline is the film’s strongest aspect. What makes it chilling and thrilling is the idea of inescapability of reflection as it can be created not only through mirrors but also through doorknobs, windows, and water. It makes our main characters so helpless because whatever their reflections do, it will be done to them in reality. This is a good concept and we rarely get good stories that doesn’t have many films alike. The ending also is not disappointing, although the tension the plot built does not quite match the backstory, it sure has a concrete conclusion and the last scene will leave you dumbfounded.
The setting creates a creepy atmosphere alone, and it was further enhanced by effective sound effects that gives the viewers the creeps and the jump scares. The camera angles know how to capture emotions or rather create them. The scene that shows this is when Detective Larry investigates the death of Angela, where the camera is so focused on her head, making the viewers fear for the inevitable.
When I saw the performance of Josh Cole as Gary Lewis in the opening scene, that’s when I knew that the cast are well-chosen. He showed us the perfect blend of emotions when you’re at the tip of death. In a span of 3 minutes, I’ve seen fear, exhaustion, vulnerability, and madness all executed by a single actor in a single scene. Exactly as claimed, the rest of the actors give convincing performances. Although Amy Smart’s role as Angela Carson is short, it was good and basically gave the film a great impact for horror genre.
The only thing that can be seen as loophole in the film as a whole is when it tries to provide an explanation for the horrific events that happened, making the film look somehow unrealistic. There’s nothing that could amount to the terrifying situations that the film shown, and explanation really is uncalled for. Ambiguity would be much frightening and wouldn’t take away some scares. However, it’s still entertaining and manages to retain the fear, then finally rebounding in the end.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Mirrors (2008) four graves out of five graves.
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