DVD Review: Jack Bauer Gets Trapped in Mirrors

Mirrors DVD CoverFox’s hit TV show 24 starts today, January 11th, so it’s no surprise that its main character, Jack Bauer, is getting three straight days of action. Two hours of 24 on Sunday, two more hours on Monday, and then, on Tuesday, Kiefer Sutherland’s horror movie Mirrors arrives on DVD.

Mirrors is a creepy movie, for obvious reasons. Think of all of the horror movies you’ve watched in your lifetime, of the good ones and the bad ones: one of the most reliable scare tactic in any of these films is the predictable yet effective mirror sequence… you know, where the character goes to pop a couple pills in the bathroom, closes the cabinet door and – bam! – something is behind the character, waiting to strike. You know it’s coming, yet is scares you nonetheless.

The first horror movie I ever remember watching – in elementary school – was Candyman. Say his name six times into the mirror and you are one dead bastard. For years, I never went into the bathroom when the lights were off – I snaked my hand inside to find the light switch. I finally overcame this fear when I went to college.

Mirrors are scary for whatever reason. So, when you put a legitimate star such as Sutherland in a horror movie about mirrors – directed by the gore-loving guy who brought us the remake of The Hills Have Eyes – you know you’re in for some thrills. And the movie delivers. It’s pretty scary, and at the very least creepy. Of course, it’s also supernatural, so eventually the movie falls apart at the seams with a pretty uninteresting climax, but that’s OK.

You can read my full Mirrors movie review here.

The one-disc DVD hosts a couple of special features, including a making-of featurette, a “history of mirrors,” and some deleted scenes. The making-of featurette isn’t the best I’ve seen, but includes pretty candid discussions with the cast, crew and director. Sutherland shares a few of his thoughts, but most of the featurette focuses on the director’s intent and the challenges of filming with mirrors. Most interesting is that Alexandre Aja didn’t know that the story was a remake of a Korean film, and almost rejected the screenplay because it read as rather boring.

The history of mirrors featurette isn’t nearly as good, as it comes off as more promotional than anything else. There are some interesting tidbits, but many of things said seem derived to make the movie sound more legitimate.

There are also some decent deleted scenes, most notably a variety of alternate endings. The one used in the actual film is the best choice, but the alternates are certainly funny to watch – and no, they aren’t just storyboard alternate endings

All in all, the Mirrors DVD doesn’t have a whole lot to offer, but some of the few features included are worth watching. If you’re a horror fan, the movie is worth purchasing; if not, it may still be worth a rental.

By Erik Samdahl
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