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Mirrors Drops Then Rips Fred's Jaw Off

Published August 15, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox Searchlight
Mirrors International PosterMirrors
Well, I was really disappointed because I thought I was going to see Marors, a story about the Seder horseradish. I was wondering why it was coming out in August, months after Passover.

Mirrors, on the other hand, is an interesting concept with a few good visuals, but nothing to hold it together. People's mirror images are killing them. That's cool, but trying to explain it and having characters deal with it loses steam fast.

Review: Mirrors

While the jaw ripping is a great signature image, the simpler ones work just as well. The cracks ripping through the mirror on their own is cool, and the sound really sells it. Just seeing a person move around while the mirror image remains still is effective and subtle. There's a really bad fire effect but what are you gonna do, set Kiefer Sutherland on fire?

Once they start establishing the mirror rules, it gets boring. Mirror images start to jump scare you, but it's every bit of a cheat as a real world jump scare. Of course the rules are inconsistent so it makes the hero look crazy when the same thing doesn't happen twice.

The mystery is the same old ghost story. That's only a spoiler if you've never seen another ghost story before. Even with a few twists on it, there's a lot of explaining and the investigation is neither scary nor imaginative.

Establishing the practical world of mirrors is cool, so it's not all supernatural. The film addresses where all kinds of reflective surfaces exist, and what practical lengths characters would have to go to if the mirrors were trying to kill them.

Poor Kiefer. They only ever offer him intense guys who scream a lot. He has to play every human emotion in his very first scene in this movie. He can do it, but it would be nice if someone allowed him more subtlety.

By the time he pulls a gun on someone pivotal to the mystery, it's not that the movie is doing 24. It's just that the movie has no motivation for that character to be involved, so they force it, via his Jack Bauer moves.

The film closes with a great ending image. There's a whole movie in that, a better movie really. Mirrors shows exactly what it could have been, but fails to reach its own promise.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox Searchlight

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