Mirrors (2008) - Unrated

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
Fox || Unrated - 111 minutes - $29.99 || January 13, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-01-13


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writer(s): Sung-ho Kim (Korean Film "Into the Mirror"); Alexandre Aja & Gregory Levasseur (screenplay)
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Amy Smart, Jason Flemyng


Theatrical Release Date: August 15, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical and Unrated Versions
  • Reflections: The Making of Mirrors
  • Behind the Mirror
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Mirrors, based on the Korean film of the same name, stars Kiefer ďWe Donít Have Enough Time!Ē Sutherland as Ben Carson, a NYPD Detective who is on paid leave pending a review of a fatal shooting. To make ends meet and support his wife (Paula Patton) and kids, Ben takes a job as the night guard at a burnt out former shopping center which was itself formerly a mental facility. Ben is also an alcoholic who, because he doesnít live with his wife, sleeps on the couch at his sisterís (Amy Smart) apartment.

After only one night, Ben discovers thereís something weird going on, especially with the numerous mirrors. He notices handprints and upon trying to remove them, the nasty mirror strikes, leaving a sizeable gash on his palm. Because he still wasnít creeped out by these events, including strange voices and supernatural figures in the mirrors (reflections too), he decided to further investigate in the basement where he uncovers something more.

Of course, his actions lead back to his family and now the evil mirror world has invaded their space as well! Now Ben must investigate what they want and how to stop it from killing them all.

Mirrors actually wasnít a bad movie at all, unitentially funny at times for sure, but not bad. In fact, for a foreign remake, itís probably right up there with The Ring leaving all those others (Shitter err Shutter, Pulse, etc) in the dust. It also was a little uneven with a fantastic and suspenseful beginning before falling a bit in the second and early third act before picking up again for the finale.

Directed and co-written by Alexandre Aja and based upon the Korean movie, Into the Mirror, this is one suspenseful movie that though not one of the best supernatural horror thrillers Iíve seen (and to be honest, Iím not a big fan of supernatural elements), itís still a very good movie. French director Aja previously helmed Haute tension (High Tension), a solid movie completely ripped to shreds by one of the most ridiculous twist endings and the great Hills Have Eyes remake (as well as the writing of the suspense-thriller P2).

In all honesty, there really isnít anything new here but Aja utilizes and embraces certain horror clichťs and manages to make even the simplest thing as a giant mirror scary and the atmosphere suspenseful.

The cast is decent enough with Kiefer Sutherland doing what Sutherland does: race across town, run through a building full of demons behind mirrors and trying to save the oneís he loves all the while on his cell phone. Actually, Sutherland is a good lead actor for this kind of film even if his characterís actions arenít all that understandable, more of the fault of an underwritten character than Sutherlandís acting skills.

Mirrors features a supporting cast including Paula Patton as the wife threatened by the mirror-demons, Amy Smart in a all too small role as Benís sister (sorry fellas, sheís only in it for less than 10 minutes and youíd get to see *more* of her in Crank) and Jason Flemying in a very minor role.

Although I donít think it quite matches up with the likes of Poltergeist or other supernatural thrillers, Mirrors is still one of the better remakes to come out of Hollywood in a long, long time. The cast is serviceable in their roles but its Ajaís great direction and style that bring the film to life despite a subpar screenplay, especially the second act.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

First, this DVD contains both the theatrical and unrated versions. The difference isnít entirely significant (theatrical: 111:05 / unrated: 111:14). Unless they also removed some scenes, thatís a whopping 9 seconds. The additional footage is just an extended shot at the beginning. If/when you see the movie youíll know what I mean.

Reflections: The Making of Mirrors (48:37) takes a look at the various stages of the project from the directorís involvement to casting, set design and filming. Itís not the greatest Ďmaking-ofí but pretty interesting and much more than an EPK, I was surprised. Although there are no commentary tracks, this is a good substitution.

Behind the Mirror (18:20) Ė The second featurette examines mirrors and the folklore and history behind them and the importance one plays in our lives.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes (15:36) Ė We get 8 scenes all together with an optional commentary with director Aja. Thereís nothing of importance here, but there is an alternate ending that is a little hokey so Iím glad they stuck with the current one.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Mirrors is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 2.35 aspect ratio. I actually found the black levels to look very good and noticed very little, if any, artifacting or other blemishes on the video and flesh tones were also spot on.

The DVD comes with a regular Dolby Digital 5.1 track makes use of Javier Navarreteís score and scaring the hell out of anyone in the vicinity. Dialogue is pretty good comes through the center channel, but the rear surround speakers donít get much use.



.::OVERALL::.

Mirrors is one of the better foreign horror remakes to come down the pike since The Ring and although I had some issues with the screenplay, it is still well worth your time especially if you enjoy supernatural horror films. The DVD isnít well packed but itís certainly satisfactory enough for fans.