Saturday 27 December 2008

My musings on Mirrors...

Aye, another slice of musing I've been slack on posting up here, but better late than never, eh?

Another one I'm catching up on - and it's Keifer Sutherland's latest, and not only that, it's Alexandre Aja's latest. Being a massive 24 fan (and indeed much of Keifer's other work), and a big fan of Aja's Switchblade Romance and Hills Have Eyes remake, I was quite looking forward to seeing Mirrors.

Not sure if I heard this right or not, but I think I heard it was an American remake of some J-Horror flick ... I wouldn't be surprised if it was, it's part of the remake trend in America at the moment, a trend that is almost entirely soul-sapping and completely lazy, not to mention far from creative or original. Or perhaps it isn't a J-Horror remake, I can't remember and I can't be arsed to look it up.

Anyway, what did I make of it? Yeah ... pretty decent. Nothing to write home about, but not a complete travesty either.

I do think Sutherland needs to find a role, in between his stints on the brilliant 24 as the rockin' Jack Bauer, that's something vastly removed from the 'Power Hour' man himself. You can't help but feel a sliver of Jack slipping into both this, and The Sentinel (another mid-24 Sutherland flick).

Plot wise, not a lot to it, but I have to say the reason for the mirrors being the 'bad guys' could have done with being introduced a tad sooner - or at least something to give us a bit more purchase on events, instead of just having to swallow it whole and wait for the digestion to come later ... if I want to push this strained metaphor that little bit further.

But what did really strike me about the film (amidst the meh plot) was the production design, I thought it was great - the Mayflower shopping centre and the ... place beyond it (won't spoil that). Perhaps it was just me, but I was constantly getting very strong vibes of the videogame BioShock - which not only a great game with superb graphics and a cool story and great atmosphere, but which had fantastic 'production design' (or the videogame equivalent).

The burned and battered manequins loitering the Mayflower, the mid-20th-century hey-day look, even the architecture gave me very strong BioShock vibes - this even continued into the water-logged basement of the building, which reminded me of part of an early level of BioShock (if memory serves, somewhere at a doctors or dentist's office - when the lights cut out, and you see a scary-ass shadow on the wall as you wade through water in a tiled corridor).

So yeah, not a superb film - despite the moments of nifty gore (an Aja staple), although there wasn't anywhere near as much on show for the gorehounds as we saw in his previous two horror offerings ... perhaps it was in aid of trying to move the film a tad away from the horror genre to be more palatable to the Keifer Sutherland fans who didn't also happen to be gorehounds.

However, Mirrors remains primarily a horror film - the asylum sequences proving to be the most disturbing (well, aside from that bit in the bathroom) - but it never quite takes off into something more, instead faltering at times with that annoying freckle-faced kid (you know the kind, the sort that cocks up their parent's plans to protect them from the monsters and/or ghosts they seem compelled to befriend with child-like ignorance.

And oh yeah - yes, I get it, the images are in the mirrors and not in the real world - you don't have to keep showing me over and over and over throughout the whole damn movie that that's the case! Sheesh.

Worth a watch for Keifer fans with a gut for horror, and likewise for Aja fans who want something far better than the dire P2 to be attached to his name (even though Aja didn't direct P2 ... but he stuck his name on it ... and it was shit, wasn't it? I mean ... really shit).

So in summary - Mirrors isn't P2, so huzah!

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