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Mirrors in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Mirrors

THE STARS:
Kiefer Sutherland • Paula Patton • Amy Smart
DIRECTOR: Alexandra Aja

Shattering experience THE CONCEPT:
Detective Ben Carson (Sutherland) has been fired from the NYPD for fatally shooting another undercover officer in an accident, which has fueled his alcoholism and anger that has alienated his wife Amy (Patton) and their kids. Carson takes a night watchman job at the burned-out ruins of the Mayflower department store, where he notices something sinister about the ornate mirrors on the walls. As Carson investigates the mysterious disappearance of the last security guard, he realizes that a malevolent, otherworldly force is using reflections as a gateway to terrorize him and his family, and he must fight to save them from a horrifying death.

U.S. RELEASE: August 15 2008, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

ALEXANDRA AJA:
Paula Patton, Alexandra Aja and Kiefer Sutherland“I was looking for a project that would allow me to explore fear in a new way. Everyone has [a] relationship with their reflection. It’s something we don’t really think about, but it’s there. Some people love to look at themselves in the mirror; others hate it. Mirrors can show us the traumas and truths that exist in our subconscious, and are just waiting to be revealed.”

KIEFER SUTHERLAND:
Kiefer Sutherland“The bathroom scene was really difficult for me to do because I had to look straight into the mirror, and I’m not great at looking at myself. Everything about acting is no different than watching a movie; it requires you to suspend your disbelief. That’s very hard to do if you’re looking at yourself. That was the first scene I had to do like that, and it was one of those things where I literally felt like I had to jump in and go for it. Then I started cheating, I started finding ways to look in a mirror where I could look off-center so I couldn’t see anything very clearly.”

PAULA PATTON:
Paula PattonI like scary movies, but I can’t watch them at night by myself. I did a lot of research for Mirrors, I wanted to watch a lot of horror films, and it was a daytime research thing, because I couldn’t do it at night, my imagination just goes crazy and I can’t take it. I try to keep myself in a certain head space while I’m filming, especially with this film because it was so intense. Every day I’m fighting with my husband or trying to save my children’s lives, or my own life, fighting with these spirits, so I couldn’t spend a lot of time around the water cooler chatting it up. I put my IPod on and listened to some haunting music and sat in a corner and tried to envelope myself in this world.”

AJA:
“I grew up with Flatliners, for me Kiefer’s character in Flatliners was my hero, he was the guy I dreamed of becoming, that kind of dark, romantic figure, not afraid of anything, even death. When I was writing the script I thought we have to find someone like Kiefer in Flatliners. But knowing he was doing 24 fulltime and he only had two months of holidays, I thought we’d never get him, he’d never give up his holidays to go to Eastern Europe to make a movie with us, and he did. So it was a big surprise, and I’m so thankful that he did because he really understood the movie and helped me perfect it.”

SUTHERLAND:
“I wanted to work with Alex [Aja] because I really loved The Hills Have Eyes. I thought it harkened back to the horror films that I liked, which were the original Amityville Horror, my father’s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Changeling, The Exorcist, The Shining – all of those films were character-based. And I felt this one was character-based. It was a drama, for all intents and purposes, up until a quarter of the way through the film.”

PATTON:
“Amy is an interesting female character, she’s not just some fringe accessory, she is integral to the plot and she’s not a victim, she’s a survivor on her own and I liked that idea of being a momma bear trying to protect my cubs, and even though Kiefer helps out in the end, she still can take care of herself, and I liked that.”

SUTHERLAND:
”The reflections represent what we could be capable of. Good or bad, they reflect ourselves at various extremes. And they can make us do things that we wish we couldn’t.”

AJA:
“I really love the genre and I keep watching all the other [horror] movies I can find. I love to be scared and I love to scare as well. I didn’t want to do a PG-13 supernatural movie; I really wanted to have that in your face [violence], because for me that was the way to really get the audience to get an image that would stay with them after the movie.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #699, August 2008 cover

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