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.