Viewed – 27 August 2011 Television
French director Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, Piranha 3D) may forever be stuck in remake hell, but although he is yet to make something on U.S. soil of his own imagining, he still seems to deliver very confident and gutsy material. This remake of the Korean psychological horror has Kiefer Sutherland as a disgraced former NYPD cop turned security guard who takes a night job watching over an old department store that was the subject of a fire years previous. During his nightly rounds, he soon discovers there is something very wrong with the place, and especially wrong with the mirrors that adorn much of the interior, and a series of hallucinations soon lead him to the conclusion that supernatural forces are at play.
Aja’s movie is stylish and well made, with plenty of scares and freaky moments (the bathroom death particularly standing out), as well as some decent special effects and unexpected twists. Sutherland is good as the lead, and has always been one of my favourites, even if he’s more known for his role in TV’s 24 these days. Yet his character felt underdeveloped with a very vague back story (he shot a cop. Why? What happened?). Supporting cast also pale significantly, and remain no name set dressing, but for some attractive females who seem adept at parading their cleavage. Plot-wise I was gripped throughout, even if I was left asking a few questions as the credits rolled. Overall though, this had enough quality moments and chills to entertain and make me avoid my reflection as I went to bed.
Verdict: 3 /5