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There is evil... on the other side.I had high hopes for MIRRORS for one reason and one reason only – Alexandre Aja and his partner in crime writer/producer Gregory Levasseur being behind it. They right handed me with HIGH TENSION, left hooked me with THE HILLS HAVE EYES, I'll ignore P2 out of respect and I was hoping for an uppercut from this one so I could hit the ground to count roasted on sticks and lathered in BBQ sauce sheep.
Speaking of Mr. Sutherland, high five and hit for casting the mofo in the lead role. The lad brought strength, intensity and vulnerability to the part, hence acting as the hefty anchor to the whole. A lesser
performer could’ve botched this, Sutherland though? He made it superior than what was on the page.
Jenga on top of all that class a handful of wince inducing gore bits (the Amy Smart takes a bath scene was one for the books), eye popping production designs (that mirror filled mall…macabre
sweet), a potent mystery that had me going, an oppressive vibe and some
occasional moments of clit biting suspense and you get a genre flick that punched in hard to deliver a frightening good time.
Alas, as I was watching MIRRORS I kept feeling that something was missing. I couldn’t put my middle finger on it then but now, I think I got it; lack of depth. I mean the flick set us up with a pill popping, ex boozer cop who whacked out another cop. He's also separated and has got all kinds of guilt weighting him down. So a character driven horror flick was a given to me. NO DICE! The lead’s baggage/demons and the potential conflict they could’ve brought to the storyline were dropped the moment the ghostly shenanigans went buck wild. It felt like the meat was snipped out in the name of retaining a swift pace. But that’s just me yapping out of my ass.
Which brings me to my second peeve: the why behind the lunacy. Once out of the box, I can’t say I was bowled over by it. And with the mystery solved, the flick simply became LESS compelling as it aimed to end. Sure it tried to juice its last block up with “physical action" and CGI but it didn’t work for me. Felt like them elements belonged in Renny Harlin’s EXORCIST 4, not a genre flick of this feel. And why was Jason Flemyng in the film again? Talk about a throwaway role if I've ever seen one. Should've cut his character out. Finally, the movie did suffer of ailments that plague most ghostly celluloid rides: dumb character moves to serve the plot and the whole "why are you staying at the haunted place after the first haunt kicked ya in the nads?" thing.. I mean, I speak for myself and my imaginary friend Fucko here: if I see my reflection in a mirror acting differently than I am – IM OUT OF THERE, off to save the whales or get my teeth cleaned… never to be seen again.
On the whole though, MIRRORS was a slick, frightening enough and at times freaking gross ride streamlined by the great gent that is Kiefer Sutherland (and I’ve never watched 24 by the way - Flatliners, At Close Range, The Lost Boys and Renegades on the hand…YES!). It had its shortcomings sure, but the Kool Aid still tasted piss-free, hence…ALL GOOD. You craving some scares? Look into this looking glass baby!