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:: Mirrors

Has Alexandre Aja taken over M. Night Shyamalan’s mantle of ‘Best Suspense/Thriller Director’? This remake of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ showed promise and now he is outshone Shymalan’s ‘The Happening’ with ‘Mirrors’; a film that at long last is being released to Australian screens.

Kiefer Sutherland plays damaged ex-cop, Ben Carson who is trying to get his life back together after accidentally shooting an innocent man, becoming an alcoholic and watching his relationship with his wife, Amy (Paula Patton) fall apart. While he waits to be re-instated to the Police Force Ben takes on a job as a security guard at a burnt out department store. On just his first night of work there Ben discovers that the department store is home to a hidden evil that uses mirrors to claim its victim’s lives. After the gruesome murder of Ben’s sister, Angela (Amy Smart) Ben realises that he must find the mysterious ‘ESSEKER’ that the evil is searching for, before both he and his family join the long list of victims.

‘Mirrors’ has to have one of the most average openings to any film this year. While the idea of Larry Bryne (Jason Flemying) running from a hidden evil sounds great it doesn’t quite work on the screen, due to some very poor special effects and computer animation; the weird thing is that the special effects don’t look this poor at any other time during the film so if you can sit through this part you will be well rewarded.

Alexandre Aja doesn’t hold back. Angela’s murder is particularly gory and almost takes this film into the horror genre. Aja doesn’t spare anyone with children being placed in as just much danger as the adult characters… the mark of a true horror/thriller genius. The script, which Aja co-wrote with Gregory Levasseur (who also worked on ‘The Hills Have Eyes’), is complex but any fans of this genre will be able to keep track at what is happening, even when it goes deep into the supernatural world.

It is a pleasure to see Kiefer Sutherland return to the big screen in a good movie, rather than the B-Grade rubbish he has made most of his life. Relative newcomer, Paula Patton backs up her recent good performance in ‘Déjà Vu’ and shows she is fast becoming one of the best ‘Thriller-Genre’ Actresses around. Amy Smart also steps out of her familiar- comedy-comfort-zone into a juicy role that allows her to play a truly memorable death scene.

‘Mirrors’ is a genuine horror/thriller that really has the potential to get into your brain and terrify you in the way few films manage to do these days. Alexandre Aja is well and truly on his way to becoming the new Alfred Hitchcock.

Title: Mirrors
Director: Alexandre Aja
Released By: Twentieth Century Fox
Length: 110mins
Rating: R
Production: Castel Film
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Cameron Boyce, Erica Gluck, Amy Smart, Mary Beth Peil, Jason Flemying
Reviewer: Dave Griffiths