For The Love Of Film is UTG’s newest creation from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.
Mirrors are used in horror movies all the time. They are great for setting up that shot where someone is doing something in the bathroom mirror then they move slightly so the mirror is out of frame and when they move back BAM the killer is in the reflection behind them. Even outside of horror movies mirrors have some sort of supernatural quality to them. Everyone remembers being a kid and hearing about Bloody Mary and how she would appear if you looked in the mirror in the dark and said her name three times. This fear is perfectly represented in the movie Mirrors, which is a widely disliked horror film from 2008.
Mirrors stars Kefier “Jack Bauer” Sutherland as a suspended detective working as a security guard in an abandoned department store that was ravaged by a fire. Soon it becomes clear to him that the mirrors in the building are not everything they appear to be, and by that I mean the reflections do things that you are not actually doing which can kill you. Like, way kill you. The guard that had the job before Sutherland saw his reflection slit it’s own throat, which then happened to the guy in real life. It is pretty brutal stuff.
The rest of the movie is Keifer trying to solve the mystery of why the mirrors are killing people before it hurts him or his family. This leads him to a nun in a monastery (where mirrors are forbidden) where he ends up kidnapping an elderly woman at gun point because Jack Bauer plays by his own rules. He takes the woman back to the building where there is some demon or something (the plot gets kind of weak at the end) and then Sutherland has to fight a demon before his kid ends up dead (because the mirror ghosts or demons or whatever got to him). After all that nonsense is done we get a pretty cool ending where SPOILER ALERT Sutherland is trapped in the mirror world.
There are plenty of valid reasons to think that Mirrors is a bad movie. Most of them involve the plot in the third act. Dane Sager could do a WTFilm?! about this movie and I am sure it would be hilarious. The story starts out really strong but just ends in a car wreck. All the suspense and tension is just shattered (get it? MIRRORS!) by a convoluted, demon chasing, race against the clock that Jack Bauer just cannot shoot his way out of.
So why is Mirrors worth your time? First of all, Keifer Sutherland is a pretty decent actor. So is Amy Smart. Both of them are in this movie and they both do a pretty good job. It really is a shame that Amy Smart dies fairly early in the movie, I really enjoyed her character’s back and forth with Keifer’s (they are brother and sister in the movie). Speaking of Amy Smart dying, her death scene is one of the most uncomfortable scenes in cinematic history. If you want to see me get really squeamish and uncomfortable just show me the scene where she rips her own jaw off. It is crazy unsettling.
Mirrors is directed by Alexandre Aja, who also directed High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes (remake), so you know that the gore will be good and with purpose. Every death scene is filled with suspense and pure terror, not just the shock value that comes with most horror movies these days. Aja does a great job building up mystery and fear throughout the film, but then Sutherland kidnaps an old woman and it is all lost. That scene, however, is pretty hilarious on its own. Seeing Jack Bauer hold an old nun at gunpoint is quite funny any way you look at it.
I wont go so far as to say Mirrors is a great movie. Hell, it might not even be a good movie. Still, I bet if you watch it alone with the lights off you will be checking to make sure your reflection is moving exactly the way it should be the rest of the night and I think that is what a good horror movie is all about. If it can make you scared in your everyday life, even for a second, about something you saw in a movie then it was a successful film.
Justin Proper is busy setting up things to scare his dumb family all around the house. You can follow his antics on Twitter.