Mirrors/Shutter – Blu-ray Edition

Mirrors: Unrated directed by 

I’ve always found Mr. Sutherland Jr., while not being as accomplished as his father Donald, to be a solid actor. But even his acting skills could not save this film. Horror seems to have become more and more tricky lately. Mainstream horror has really dipped, in my opinion, as a film genre. 

This is another remake of an Asian horror film (Damn! The success of The Ring) and it seems like the Hollywood versions don’t do any justice to their sources. “Mirrors” is a series of paint-by-number events and even the twists become predictable. Never a good sign.

Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland – from television’s 24) lives with his sister, Angela (Amy Smart – Starsky & Hutch, The Butterfly Effect). He has obviously gone through some addiction problems, is divorced from his wife, separated from his kids, and has left his job as a cop. Nothing is going right for this guy. Ben is haunted by the fact that while on the job he shot and killed someone. Is not able to forget it.

Wanting to get his life back on track and get his job back on the force he knows he needs a job. Ben manages to get a job as a night watchman at a deserted hotel, The Mayflower, while insurance matters are being cleared up. The previous night watchman was found dead under weird circumstances.

From his first night on the job he begins to see things in a large mirror there. It continues with him seeing things in the store mirrors and in the mirror at home. Ben becomes totally rattled by what he sees. More disturbing for him is when his son (Cameron Boyce – Eagle Eye) starts to see things in the mirrors at home as well. It is almost as if something is looking back at them through the mirrors.

Things go from bad to worse when Ben receives a package from the previous night watchman filled with newspaper clippings about The Mayflower. Then Ben’s sister is found dead. Ben tells his ex-wife (Paula Patton – Swing Vote, Hitch) that the images from the mirror killed his sister because he told her about them. No one believes him, but Ben has to do something as his family is in danger.

Besides a predictable script Sutherland also has to deal with some cheesy CGI special effects. The scenes with lousy special effects render them funny and not scary. 

It is too bad as the concept behind the film is creepy. Reflections that haunt you is a good one because they are everywhere – your reflection. It is possible in almost every surface you can think of. Glass, water and many other shiny things become trouble. There is no escaping. 

The problems begin with the film trying to explain everything. If you do that it takes the creepiness factor out. You are no longer surprised and your horror film is no longer horror-filled. The second half of the film kinda ruins a decent beginning.

Special Features:
-Unrated Version
-Theatrical Version
-Reflections: The Making of Mirrors
-Behind the Mirror
-Deleted and Alternate Scenes

 

Shutter: Unrated directed by 

Another Hollywood remake of a Japanese horror film. They no longer have to write scripts in the horror genre as they just have to wait for Japanese films to be successful and then remake them in English. I have to be honest and say I don’t really understand this whole phenomenon. If the original is good why can’t we in North America watch it with subtitles? Too lazy to read? Someone has to explain it to me.

New York newlyweds Ben (Joshua Jackson – Battle in Seattle, Bobby) and Jane (Rachael Taylor – Transformers, Bottle Shock) have moved to Japan. Ben is fashion photographer and is offered a job on a large shoot. A tragic accident happens. A young girl is killed but they cannot find her body. But soon they realize that the girl is linked to them.

Ben and Jane move on to Tokyo to start his job. All the photos they have developed after the accident have a weird shadow in them. The shadow seems to have an axe to grind with Ben and is determined to reveal his deepest and darkest secrets from his past. Ben and his wife learn quickly that you can’t really leave you past behind.

The cinematography is the high point of this film. Very beautiful scenes of Japan – a side you don’t normally see. Everything else was fairly weak. For a horror or suspense film there was zero suspense. You knew everything that was going to happen before it did. Kinda aggravating! Also it was not scary….not even for one moment.

Special Features:
-A Cultural Divide
-The Director: Masayuki Ochiai
-A Conversation with Luke Dawson College
-Create Your Own Phantom Photo
-The Hunt for the Haunt: Tools and Tips for Ghost Hunting
-9 Deleted scenes
-Alternate Ending: Mental Hospital
-An Exclusive First Look at the Horror Film “Mirrors” Starring Kiefer Sutherland

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