3.3 8
Director: Alexandre Aja

Cast: Alexandre Aja, Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Amy Smart


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Kiefer Sutherland stars as an NYPD detective-turned-security guard who discovers something sinister lurking in the mirrors of a fire-damaged department store in Haute Tension writer/director Alexandre Aja's menacing study in the origins of evil. It's been just about a year since mercurial policeSee more details below


Kiefer Sutherland stars as an NYPD detective-turned-security guard who discovers something sinister lurking in the mirrors of a fire-damaged department store in Haute Tension writer/director Alexandre Aja's menacing study in the origins of evil. It's been just about a year since mercurial police detective Ben Carson (Sutherland) was suspended from the NYPD for the fatal shooting of an undercover officer, and ever since that fateful day he's been locked in a self-destructive spiral of anger and alcoholism. Increasingly isolated from his wife and kids, Ben spends most nights crashed-out at his sister Angela's (Amy Smart) apartment in Queens. But Ben hasn't given up hope just yet, and in order to get his life back together and prove that he's still capable of supporting his family he takes a job as the night watchman at the Mayflower department store. The Mayflower used to be a lavish symbol of inner-city prosperity, that is, until a raging inferno gutted the building while claiming numerous lives in the process. These days, the Mayflower is a scorched reminder of human misery, the ornate mirrors therein reflecting a suffering so profound that it begins to wear on Ben's already-fragile psyche. Not only that, but whatever force dwells behind the shimmering glass seems to have gained the power to alter reality as well. After Ben gazes into the mirrors and sees a vision of himself being relentlessly tortured, he is horrified to experience violent convulsions, spontaneous bleeding, and frightening asphyxiation. And while his sister is always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, she chalks the anomalies up to an unusually potent mix of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately for Ben, his estranged wife, Amy (Paula Patton), isn't nearly as forgiving. A prosaic NYPD medical examiner who has seen her fair share of tragedy, Amy fears that Ben's erratic behavior could be placing their children in danger. Later, as Ben begins to draw connections between his increasingly gruesome visions and a former Mayflower security guard who vanished without a trace, he begins to suspect that an unimaginable evil is using the mirrors as a gateway into the real world, and that his family is in mortal danger from forces beyond their realm of understanding. Perhaps if he Ben can manage to convince Amy that their children's lives are at risk, he can summon the courage to face the greatest evil he has ever known.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
First things first when it comes to Alexandre Aja's Mirrors -- no one could be naïve enough to think that emerging genre talent Aja was above remakes at this point in his career; after all, his third feature as a director was a remake of an American horror classic (The Hills Have Eyes) and his fifth scheduled feature is a remake of the John Sayles-scripted, Joe Dante directed cult killer-fish flick, Piranha. When the trailer for Mirrors initially dropped, though, it appeared that Aja had jumped on the J-horror bandwagon about five years too late. So slavish to the conventions of that particular regional subgenre did it appear to be that one almost expected to see Roy Lee listed as a producer, though fortunately for horror fans, Mirrors isn't quite as paint-by-numbers as the film's unimaginative advertising campaign may have suggested. Anyone who has ever awoken in the middle of the night to gaze into that mirror across the room and wonder if someone -- or something -- was gazing back, unseen, from the other side is bound to be unsettled by the central premise of Mirrors, and despite the fact that Aja and longtime writing partner Gregory Levasseur have made the film a bit top-heavy with jump scares, the truth is that there are some pretty unsettling images and ideas at work here. Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland) is a former NYPD detective who was booted out of the force after accidentally killing an undercover cop. After falling into an anguished alcoholic haze, he's finally attempting to get his life together by tossing out the bottle and going to work as a security guard. He seems to be on the right track, too -- if not a bit on edge -- but that all begins to change after Carson starts noticing strange things in the spotless mirrors of the burnt-out department store he's been charged with safeguarding. Though Carson tries his damnedest to convince his sympathetic sister and estranged wife that sinister forces seem to be at work all around them, both write off his fantastic warnings as the fever-dream result of too much stress or overmedication, leaving them wide open to attack from the force that dwells on the other side of the glass. As derivative as some of the ideas in Mirrors first appear, Aja and Levasseur do make Carson's race to solve the mystery of the looking glass and save his family a pretty tense affair by contrasting the detective sequences with some fairly gruesome and decently executed death scenes, and once Carson discovers the origins of the curse, Aja pulls out all the stops in order to ratchet up the fear quotient. The visually minded director milks the spooky atmosphere of the fire-damaged department store for all it's worth as well, getting plenty of malevolent mileage out of scenes where a jumpy Sutherland wanders the darkened corridors with his trusty flashlight. A key scene in which his character finally figures out just what's happening behind the glass packs an especially spooky punch; the final showdown is an effects-heavy whopper that strives to disturb by taking things into Exorcist-type territory (though it goes a bit too over-the-top for its own good); and the quietly unsettling coda ends the film on a note that's effectively disorienting and spooky, making Mirrors a passable mainstream diversion that's slightly better than initial appearances may suggest. Perhaps if Aja and Levasseur could somehow manage to hop off of the remake train, get back to the basics, and go to work crafting some original ideas, they could recapture the gruesome unpredictability of something like High Tension; until that day, it appears that their fans will have to settle for product that's simply too focused on flash to pack any real punch.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kiefer Sutherland Ben Carson
Paula Patton Amy Carson
Amy Smart Angela Carson
Mary Beth Peil Anna Esseker
Cameron Boyce Michael Carson
Erica Gluck Daisy Carson
Julian Glover Robert Esseker
John Shrapnel Lorenzo Sapelli

Technical Credits
Alexandre Aja Director,Screenwriter
Maxime Alexandre Cinematographer
Deborah Aquila Casting
Albert Bailey Sound/Sound Designer
Baxter Editor
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
Steve Bream Art Director
Michael Dennison Costumes/Costume Designer
Kate Dowd Casting
Kim Eun-yeong Co-producer
Marc S. Fischer Executive Producer
Andrew Hong Executive Producer
Eun-Young Kim Co-producer
Mark Larry Sound/Sound Designer
Gregory Levasseur Producer,Screenwriter
Arnon Milchan Executive Producer
Alexandra Milchan Producer
Ellen Mirojnick Costumes/Costume Designer
Javier Navarrete Score Composer
Joseph C. Nemec Production Designer
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
Jennifer Smith Casting
Marc Sternberg Producer
Malcolm Stone Art Director
Kiefer Sutherland Executive Producer
Tricia Wood Casting

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Scene Index

Disc One:; Includes both the theatrical version and Unrated version of the film; Reflections: The Making of Mirrors shockumentary; Anna Esseker hospital footage; Behind the Mirror featurette; Animated storyboard sequence; Deleted scenes and alternate ending with optional director's commentary; Bonusview: Mirror Images: Picture-in-Picture with commentary by Alexandre Aja & Gregory Levasseur, Storyboard-to-scene comparison; Enhanced for D-Box motion control systems; ; Disc Two:; Digital Copy of Mirrors for portable media players


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