Mirrors may be an unsettling horror film which gets under your skin on more than one occasion but an utter lack of logic and the amount of questions that are left unanswered makes it go down the gutter. A promising start and some interesting twists and turns are wasted when the film ends abruptly and with the sort of ending which is bond to leave the viewers perplexed. Who was the demon? Was it destroyed in the end? What happens to Esseker? How did Ben, the protagonist of the film end up inside the mirror? Is he dead? These are just some of the questions which are left unanswered. It’s a wicked and sometimes effective idea to leave a horror film at a point where the viewer can have multiple answers to a question. It only increases the affectivity of the film. However, to leave a film at a point where so many questions are left unanswered is plain suicide.
The story revolves around Ben (Kiefer Sutherland), an ex-cop who is trying to cope with an accidental death that he may have caused. He takes up a night watchman’s job at a dilapidated mall which was burnt down in a fire. Once on the job, he starts seeing things in the mirrors of the mall which are still intact. He tries at first not to pay any heed but is then sucked into the world of the mirrors. He soon finds himself stalked by the mirrors and whatever it is that resides in them. Soon in a fateful incident, his sister is brutally murdered by the entities that are in the mirrors. He is called upon by the mirrors to find out who Esseker is? Now Ben must find Esseker before the demons in the mirror kill his wife and children. His search leads him to Anna Esseker (Mary Beth Peil ) who might hold the keys to unlocking the secrets behind the mirror.
The film is constantly frightening and thanks to the good performances from the ensemble cast, it remains on track. The fear and the tension are transposed to the viewers through the essay of the characters more than the visuals. Having said that, the visuals are not bad either. There are a few sequences inside the burnt mall which were really scary. The way Ben’s sister is killed is another frightening sequence. The film uses uncanny angles, situational music and fast editing to instill fear and succeeds to a great extent. It only hits a road block towards the end, when it runs out of ideas to justify the proceedings.
The film wants us to believe that Anna Esseker had a demon in her. She was aided by a doctor who brought her to a hospital and tried to cure her by making her sit in front of the mirrors. The demon for some reason got sucked into the mirrors and have been ever since been looking for Esseker. The hospital was closed down after all its patients died, thanks to the demon in the mirror. The demon also collects the souls of all it kills and keeps getting powerful. Once Esseker is brought in front of the mirrors, the demon repossesses her. A fight ensues between her and Ben and by the end of it, Ben is shown trapped in a mirror. What is the logic in that? What about all the questions that remains unanswered? Those, my friends, are the biggest problem with this film.
Even after doing so much right, the film fails to impress because it remains illogical and unsolved. Even the more complex of horror films like, The Exorcist, The Conjuring, Rosemary’s Baby explain it all by the end. The issue is either solved or the evil still remains active. Here you do not know whether the problem has been solved or the evil still remains for that matter. Thus you are unsatisfied. This would have been a great film had the makers put their minds a little more to the story and made sense. Everything else about it was spot on. The visuals were scary and striking, the performances were believable and the scares worthy. But the manner in which the film leaves you out to dry by the end is what brings it down.