DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Kiefer Sutherland as BEN CARSON
    Paula Patton as AMY CARSON
    Cameron Boyce as MICHAEL CARSON
    Erica Gluck as DAISY CARSON
    Amy Smart as ANGELA CARSON
    Mary Beth Peil as ANNA ESSEKER

    Rated R and Unrated
    Studio: Fox

    Directed by: Alexandre Aja

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“Mirrors” tells the story of a cop named Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland) who, after a shooting incident on the force, causes him to spin out of control. He becomes an alcoholic and ends up taking leave from his job. Now, he’s got a new job as a security guard for a burned-out department store attached to an abandoned hospital.

One night, he discovers there’s a mysterious, malevolent force inside the mirrors of the store, and soon the spirits in the mirrors start to haunt him and his family. He must uncover the mystery of the spirits in the mirror before they prey on those he loves.

Ever since I saw “High Tension,” I have been a fan of Alexandre Aja. This guy has probably one of the best eyes and mind for suspense and horror. He delivers with “Mirrors” much the way he did with his “The Hills Have Eyes” remake for a couple years ago. It doesn’t live up to the awesome suspense power of “High Tension,” but few films will.

Also, as a rabid fan of “24,” it’s always nice to see Kiefer Sutherland in Jack Bauer mode. Think of the character of Ben Carson as Jack Bauer long after he fell from CTU grace. He delivers the same gravely dialogue, even going as far to throw in a few Jack Bauer “dammits” into the soundtrack. There’s something about Sutherland that pulls you into a film like this, especially when the premise is so utterly unbelievable.

I love a good horror movie, and this offered something different from slasher remakes and zombie flicks. Plus, it had one of the most disturbing death scenes I’ve seen in a film in a long time.

There was a definite “Poltergeist II” feel to this film, which detracted from my full enjoyment. While I found the movie tense and intriguing, I couldn’t help but feel that it was stealing some of its plot points from a lesser horror movie.

Also, on the negative front, when Kiefer Sutherland or Amy Smart aren’t part of the film, it loses some luster. Sure, Paula Patton is easy on the eyes, her role as the jilted ex-wife is a bit tired, and the little actors who play the kids aren’t as creepy as they could be for such a creepy film.

The DVD comes with an option to watch the theatrical version or the unrated version, which is always nice. And as a horror movie, there’s a bit more intensity in the unrated version. There’s also two featurettes: “Reflections: The Making of Mirrors” and “Behind the Mirror,” which discusses the use of mirrors in different cultures and religion. There are also eight deleted/extended scenes which include commentary by Aja.

Horror movie junkies, Alexandre Aja fans and anyone who likes Kiefer shooting a gun.

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