Running Time: 110 mins
Rated: Rated MA 15+
Mirrors, for most audiences, will prove to be a genuinely scary movie. This is quite an accomplished film, more a terror film rather than just what we think of as horror even though there is some explanation given that involves ghosts and some demonic powers. It is based on an effective Korean ghost film, Into the Mirror, which worked well because of Asian beliefs in spirits. Mirrors takes the basic themes but relocates them to New York, this time the hulk of a fashionable department store that was burnt out (the original used a store that was operating) but was built on the site of an closed down psychiatric hospital.
While there is a death before the credits, Mirrors generally keeps the terror with atmosphere, especially with the huge mirrors in the darkened store, though there are a couple of scenes and a climax that are blood-drenched.
Keifer Sutherland plays a New York detective who has shot someone in the line of duty and is on suspension but has drinking and nerve problems which have a destructive effect on his wife and children. He becomes the night guard of the store and begins to experience weird sounds and sights. Is it his mind or is it happening in reality?
The film works on the premiss that our mirror images can confront us and can wreak violence - and this extends to several characters in the film.
The production is good to look at, the tone set during reverse images of the New York skyline during the credits, with the facade and the interiors of the store. The plot eventually takes the detective to Pennsylvania, an abbey and a nun who has the power to stop the evil.
French director Alexandre Aja made the effective remake of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes. Here he has made a thriller that is more wider audience friendly - if that is how you can describe an cinema terror experience.
20th Century Fox Out November 6
Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.