Korea has recently surpassed Japan as the go-to guys for rubbish horror-movie ideas, with this remake of 2003’s Into the Mirror a good example of an already hokey plot getting seriously lost in translation. Alexandre Aja’s disposable shocker features Kiefer Sutherland in full Jack Bauer mode as Ben Carson, an ex-cop who turns security guard to patrol the scorched interiors of a fire-gutted New York hotel. Having accidentally shot his partner in the line of duty, alcoholic Carson is estranged from his wife Amy (Paula Patton), and before you can say Jack Torrance in The Shining, he’s beginning to hallucinate that an evil force behind the hotel’s mirrors is after his family.
Aja has already proved himself an accomplished visual stylist on Switchblade Romance and The Hills Have Eyes, but his visceral energy is misapplied to Mirrors, in which nearly two hours is dedicated to Carson working out something that was blindingly obvious within the first minute. At least Sutherland keeps a straight face even while kidnapping nuns at gunpoint, and Aja maintains decent levels of suspense in the opening third. But once the jaw-dropping implausibilities start raining down, it’s a long, painful wait until the original film’s (admittedly cool) twist ending kicks in.
General release from Fri 3 Oct.