Kiefer Sutherland began his acting career in films like “The Lost Boys” and “Flatliners.” Now, it seems he’s a much better fit for small screen projects.
The star of Fox’s “24″ tried to restart his film career anew (2006’s “The Sentinel” didn’t do the trick) with “Mirrors,” out Jan. 13 on DVD.
Critics pounced on the film during its theatrical run, but like Sutherland himself it’s a far better fit for the reduced expectations of home viewing.
Sutherland stars as Ben Carson, a former cop trying to process how he accidentally shot and killed a fellow officer. He takes a gig as a security guard for a burned-out old building, a job that gives him way too much time to get lost in his own thoughts while his police reinstatement process trudges forward.
The building also provides some terrific set design potential as well as a peek into the film’s scare tactics. The mirrors in the building are playing tricks on Ben, showing him things that can’t possibly be real. But is the frazzled ex-cop going mad, or are the mirrors truly threatening both him and his family?
Director Alexandre Aja (“High Tension,” “The Hills Have Eyes”) maximizes the chills in an otherwise silly premise – the latest inspiration from the world of Asian horror flicks. Watch out, Ben! It’s another mirror — and it’s got a beveled edge!
And while some supernatural flicks try our patience with their logic-busting storylines, “Mirrors” makes a valiant effort to piece together just why the mirrors are playing tricks on Ben. It doesn’t always work, but let’s give “Mirrors” an atta boy just for trying.
Sutherland is just fine here, flashing that Jack Bauer temper at times while keeping us engaged in his character’s predicament. it’s hardly a star turn but rather a solid performance from a veteran who we know not to expect too much from. In horror circles, that’s more than adequate for the chore at hand.
“Mirrors” serves up one killer murder scene and an ending that provides a nice kick for the genre. In between, it’s standard horror fare – pedestrian subplots and a menacing score.
It’s easy to imagine “Mirrors” disappointing when shown in a hushed theater, but in the privacy of one’s home the horror flick punches the clock with admirable efficiency.