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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Kiefer Sutherland and Paula Patton
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 04 May 2009

After fatally shooting someone accidentally, ex-police detective Ben Carson’s life takes a downward spiral, his guilt driving him to the bottle and causing him to lose his job and separate from his wife and two young children. Attempting to get back on track, Ben takes a job as a night security guard at the once glorious Mayflower department store. The huge building is now a gloomy and sinister shell, after a mysterious fire had devastated it years before. However, the grand ornate mirrors have somehow remained untouched. It isn’t long before Ben is plagued by a multitude of terrifying and very real images in the mirrors, depictions which not only threaten him in the real world but also his family. Ben must find out what they are trying to tell him before it’s too late...

Mirrors is yet another American remake of an East Asian supernatural horror; in this case Into the Mirror. Although subtly changed from the original, it still undeniable feels like a Japanese film - right down to the investigating of the origin of events, and the Ring-like race against time at the end. The difference here is that a tired Hollywood format has been squeezed into the storyline, so that we have a traumatised ex-police detective trying to keep off the alcohol whilst rebuilding his life. Why is it always someone with drinking or drug-related problems that goes through these surreal experiences? Of course no one would believe their story, but then they wouldn't believe a perfectly normal and balanced person either. It's the same effect as having a priest's faith tested by demonic events.

Nevertheless, the notion of an evil behind the mirror is a much used but essentially sound one (Graham Masterton’s novel Mirror, and John Carpenter’s movie Prince of Darkness spring to mind). There’s the potentially blank canvas of an alternate version of the accepted world as we know it. Kiefer Sutherland of 24 fame puts in a sterling performance as Ben, convincingly both off-kilter and forceful in line with the character’s background, and he’s joined by Amy Smart of The Butterfly Effect.

Mirrors is directed by Alexandre Aja, who helmed the competent remake/update of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, and the excellent French/Belgian horror flick Switchblade Romance. His work here is perhaps not as striking, but it does work. It just seems rather strange to think of a French director doing an American remake of an East Asian film. Still, as his very next project was Piranha 3D, I suppose it’s not so surprising. And who can blame any filmmaker for wanting to break into Hollywood - even if it does destroy their creativity. Not everyone can maintain a balance like Guillermo Del Toro.

Extras include Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending; Reflections: The Making of…; and Behind the Mirror.


Ty Power

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