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With: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Cameron Boyce, Erica Gluck, Amy Smart, Mary Beth Peil, John Shrapnel, Jason Flemyng, Tim Ahern, Julian Glover, Josh Cole, Ezra Buzzington, Doina Aida Stan, Ioana Abur, Darren Kent
Written by: Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur, based on a screenplay by Kim Sung-ho
Directed by: Alexandre Aja
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images, language and brief nudity
Running Time: 111
Date: 08/14/2008

Mirrors (2008)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Reflection Selection

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Kiefer Sutherland stars in this above-average, but uneven horror remake directed by Frenchman Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes). Sutherland plays Ben Carson, a temporarily suspended cop who is trying to get over some traumatic experience. To make ends meet, he gets a job as a night watchmen in an old department store, which is still standing, but gutted and blackened after a deadly blaze some years earlier. Ben begins to see strange things in the mirrors, and the strange things make their way into the homes of his estranged wife (Paula Patton) and two kids, and of his sister (Amy Smart). Characters stand in front of mirrors, and when they move away, the reflection remains. It's a sublimely creepy effect, and the movie uses it well, but then the plot kicks in: the mirrors "ask" Ben to find something called "Esseker" to put right whatever was done wrong and stop all the haunting. That ridiculous cat-and-mouse chase, plus all the so-called "character depth" forcibly stapled to the Ben character subtract from the movie's basic chills. (As Joe Bob Briggs used to say: "too much plot gets in the way of the story.") Fox released the 2009 DVD with several making-of featurettes, including one on the creepy history of mirrors. The disc comes with the theatrical cut and the "extended" cut, which runs just a few seconds longer.

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