Being a hardcore horror fan can be tough. Lots of bad horror movies are dumped in theaters or shuffled off as quick money makers and rarely are we ever rewarded in theaters with a scary good time. Alexandre Aja is one director working to change that. His very limited release Haute Tension was awesome and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes was a bloody good time. In his third major release, Aja manages to do something rare – make a scary movie.
The film follows Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland), a troubled ex-detective who takes on a job as a night watchmen at a burned out department store. Soon, the immaculate mirrors within the creepy building start to reveal a sinister force intent on using Carson to return to the world or kill him and his family in the process. Of course, in a situation like this, no one believes the former alcoholic cop when he starts acting weirdly and accusing mirrors of being evil. Along for the scary ride are his sister, played by Amy Smart, and his wife and kids.
Story wise, we see some old elements that are done well. This isn’t an amazingly original film (it’s also a remake, go figure) and we see the evils of psychiatry as well as some hallucinations. The writing is good, though Sutherland slips into some Jack Bauer territory (Damn it!) every now and then – the dude is a bad ass and he can’t turn it off. Across the board, acting is good. The kids are cute, Sutherland is sufficiently troubled and the interactions between characters are pretty realistic. Camera wise, Aja is still keeping his record clean with another strong and creative effort that always looks good and interesting. I liked the cast and crew assembled here. Why isn’t Kiefer in more things? I love that dude and he does a good job here.
On the scary side of things, we get some jump scares, some scary music, and a lot of creepy images. There is a good mixture of these elements, leading to a very tense and creepy movie at times. You’ll find yourself jumping in your seat and squirming here and there. Really, this film delivers scares across the spectrum. There are the cheap thrills of things popping out of nowhere, the long slow reveals, the tense music, and even some frenetic scary beast possession type frights. A little bit of everything for the discerning horror fan. Now, I’m not often a fan of supernatural horror, it just generally doesn’t do it for me, but Mirrors is a creepy ride that’s worth taking. I might not be stressing this enough – the movie is scary. It’s bloody, creepy, delivers on the disturbing imagery, and can give a good many people chills in the dark. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.
And because this is horror and because I’m your Coroner, I’ve got a special mini edition of the Coroner’s Report for you.
The official kill total is only around 4 or 5, though the back story reveals a lot more deaths and we do see some ghosts and how they died.
A good dose of the gross in this film. The Amy Smart death shown in the trailer is awesomely bloody and the prime reason I went to see this. As you know, we see her mirror image rip her jaw off and the scene is tight. The jaw is almost completely severed, the tongue flops around, and the blood pours everywhere. Very awesome. We also get some burn victims, slashed throats, melting skin and a bunch of cuts. Good disturbing imagery in this film.
We see one gross burned boob and we get a glimpse of some Amy Smart side boob and even some ass. The real hotness comes from the insanely beautiful Paula Patton, who plays Amy Carson, the wife. She is a stunningly beautiful woman – distractingly hot. She wears some tight, wet clothing. Mmm,yes.
Psychiatry is the mother of all modern evils and when it comes to malicious spirits, just give them what they want. Also, mirrors are freaky.
As far as supernatural horror goes, this is a scary and fun ride to take. I will admit that I was not in love with the ending and felt it was a bit of a cop out in favor of a twist. It was a great, spooktastic ride right til the end though. I appreciated all the different types of horror contained within, like I mentioned above. Jump scares, spooky music, creepy images and even a sweet ass man vs demon fist fight. The climactic fight takes place at home and at the department store and it is really exciting and fun to watch. The creature design on the evil entity is really great and creepy and gross. Dug it! The movie slow builds to a great, tense climax with lots of scary steps on the way. It’s a shame that the last 90 seconds, taken straight from the Korean version, left me a bit underwhelmed. A great effort from Aja though, who continues to grow and impress. Mirrors is perhaps the most legitimately scary film to hit theaters in a long time.
The Upside: A legitimately scary and well made horror film.
The Downside: The slight twist at the end felt lame, but not enough to make me dislike the movie.
On the Side: Alexandre Aja helped write the screenplay and next moves into the 3D territory with Piranha! I would marry Paula Patton no questions asked. Call me.