“The Mirror” – Susan Granger reviews

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Re-making Asian horror films has become a Hollywood B-movie staple, so this run-of-the-mill entry simply serves as a reminder that Kiefer Sutherland can be as intense, yelling “Damn it!” on the big screen as he is as Jack Bauer on TV’s “24.”

He’s Ben Carson, a boozy, troubled former New York City police officer who was forced off the job after the accidental shooting of a fellow cop. Separated from his medical examiner wife, Amy (Paula Patton), and two young kids (Erica Gluck, Cameron Boyce), he crashes in Queens with his bartender sister, Angela (Amy Smart), sleeping on her couch. In need of money, he lands a job as a security guard, spending his nights roaming the spooky, charred remains of what was once a stunning department store. While everything else seems to have crumbled since the fire five years earlier, the mirrors are mysteriously intact, holding terrifying, supernatural images that threaten his life and the lives of his estranged family.

“What if the mirrors are reflecting something that’s beyond our reality,” he wonders, pondering the existence of weird, evil forces.

Adapted from South Korea’s “Into the Mirror” (2003) by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, directed by Aja and filmed primarily in Romania, it’s simply ludicrous, a shallow disappointment after Aja’s previous work in “High Tension” and the remake of “The Hills Have Eyes.” Mirrors conjure up so much more eerie drama than Aja ever takes advantage of. The paranormal pacing is plodding, the special effects are second-rate, the 110-minute running time is tediously long and the gory imagery is more disgusting than shocking.

Ranking far below the adaptations of “The Ring” and “The Grudge,” on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Mirrors” is a creepy 2. It certainly needs polishing.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.