out of Five
Running time: 90
Despite some creepy scenes and superb special effects, Mirrors is let down by a ludicrous script and some dodgy acting, though it remains watchable on a so-bad-it's-good level.
What's it all about?
Directed by Alex Aja, Mirrors is a remake of Korean horror Into the Mirror and stars Kiefer Sutherland as Ben Carson, a troubled ex-cop who's hired as a security guard during the refurbishment of fire-ravaged department store. After a series of mysterious deaths, Ben is compelled to investigate and he soon becomes convinced that evil is lurking behind the mirrors, placing his wife (Paula Patton), his sister (Amy Smart) and his children (Cameron Boyce and Erica Gluck) in terrible danger.
Aja has a good eye for striking imagery and he orchestrates some impressive set-pieces here, aided by some terrific special effects work. The key scene from the trailer, with a character seemingly sinking into the floor, is particularly good, as is an early death scene.
If you're a fan of 24, you'll get a whole different level of enjoyment out of Mirrors, because Sutherland really seems to be playing the part as Jack Bauer: he routinely shouts 'Dammit!' (Bauer's catchphrase) and at one point, he even pulls a gun on a nun. Basically, if you want an actor who can convincingly pull a gun on a nun, then Kiefer Sutherland is your man.
The other actors don't get much of a look-in: Amy Smart disappears quickly after a spectacular and disturbing set-piece, while Paula Patton doesn't get much to do beyond looking disbelieving, angry and scared, in that order. Similarly, the script is atrocious, combining laughable dialogue with a ludicrous and ultimately confusing plot.
To be fair, Mirrors almost redeems itself with a superb Twilight Zone-style final scene, but this backfires a bit because you end up wishing the film had started there and been about that instead.
Despite some visually interesting moments, this is let down by a terrible script and is only enjoyable on a so-bad-it's-good level.