Mirrors

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Mirrors Movie Poster Image
Brutal horror movie offers little to reflect on.
  • R
  • 2008
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

A lead character is a cop who is suspended for accidentally shooting an undercover officer. Lead characters are dealing with a marriage shattered by tragedy; a child overhears his parents arguing. Demonic possession and theological elements are involved in the plot.

Violence

Constant, brutal, and explicit violence, including slashed throats (seen repeatedly in close-up and later in photos); knife wounds; flesh wounds from shards of shattered mirrors; drowning induced by unseen supernatural forces (including that of a child); a grotesque special-effects sequence in which a woman's mirror reflection tears her own jaw loose, fatally replicating the grisly wound on her real-life counterpart; a mutilated body is seen floating in a bathtub; a half-naked female burn victim seen crying in agony; several burn victims seen in supernatural visions; a psychiatric patient being manhandled and restrained; corpses being autopsied shown in great detail; a woman cut to bloody ribbons by exploding mirrors; a character battling an elderly demon-possessed woman in intense close-quarters fighting (her demise includes being shot, impaled with a steam pipe, immolated in an explosion, and crushed with falling debris). Children are in peril. Extensive discussion of a fire with dozens of fatalities and a massacre at a hospital which left 15 dead. A nun is essentially kidnapped at gunpoint.

Sex

Some kissing; glimpses of naked buttocks and breasts. A lead female character dresses primarily in low-cut tops, wet tops, or low-cut and wet tops.

Language

Some, including "f--k," "s--t," "dammit," "hell," and "bitch."

Consumerism

Many brands are visible on screen, including Jack Daniels, Quaker Oats, Heineken, Dodge automobiles, UPS, Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Amnesty International, and more.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

A character discusses a problematic history with alcohol, noting that they "haven't had a drink in three months." The same character is using a prescription drug with serious side effects to stop drinking. A scene is set in a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this brutal horror movie is graphically, grotesquely, and grimly violent, featuring extensive sequences of special-effects gore. Disturbing, gory images are lingered over, and the film's magical-mirror plotline -- in which mystical reflection images are recreated in the real world -- means that, in many cases, viewers literally get to see the same horrifically violent acts twice. There's also a demonic-possession element to the plot, as well as a bit of sexuality, some strong language, and references to a drinking problem.

User Reviews

Parent Written by@@@ December 16, 2011

Shockingly terrible.

Awful movie. There is no plot, and the last 20 minutes or so, which are meant to be the most intense, are the least scary 20 minutes in any film that I have eve...
Parent of a 13 year old Written byfleecy34 November 30, 2014

Innapropriate

I hope no children under 18 has watched it I'd disturbing rude and Brutel with much more so don't watch it or your children watch it
Kid, 11 years old February 27, 2009

Mirrors was a disappoint and this is coming from a true horror fan

Mirrors was simply bad. Not because it wasn't scary, because it was jumpy in two scenes, it was boring. Nothing was going on. The gore factor was surprisin...
Teen, 13 years old Written bywilliam_1601 September 24, 2010
Despite the positive role-model characters who put family first, this film contains disturbing violence and gore. The language is strong, but not explicit. Over...

What's the story?

Haunted by doubt and guilt after accidentally killing an undercover officer, suspended NYPD detective Ben Carson's (Kiefer Sutherland) marriage is shattered, and he's forced to take a nighttime security guard position at the burnt-out wreckage of a department store in hopes that he might be able to move on from crashing with his sister, Angela (Amy Smart). As Ben tours the ruins each night, he starts seeing grim, grisly visions in the store's mirrors -- visions that somehow leap from the glass into the real world. As the malevolent force behind the mirrors poses an increasing threat to Ben's friends and family, he has to unravel the mystery of the force hidden behind the mirrors ... and ask himself whether satisfying the force's demands will really end the threat to his family.

Is it any good?

Helmed by French horror director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension), MIRRORS is long on gore and short on plot. Ben flails, freaks out, and fumbles around trying to decipher the visions and messages he's receiving from the mystical dimension behind the mirrors. (The department store, it seems, used to be a hospital, and the past treatment of a schizophrenic girl lies at the heart of the mystery.)

Even as Ben frantically tries to keep his estranged wife (Paula Patton) and children safe, Mirrors doesn't do much to make viewers care; the mirror visions are so powerful that they can't be ignored or denied, which means that the film simply limps from one bloody sequence to another. Aja's other horror films, while also grisly, had a certain style to them; in Mirrors, the slack plot is just an excuse for a series of gory, violent moments that the film lingers on lovingly. Mirrors has plenty of spooks and scares and special effects; what it doesn't have is much of a plot -- or characters worth caring about.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nature and character of bloody horror films. Why does Hollywood make them, and what purpose do they serve? This movie -- like The Ring, The Grudge, and Pulse -- is a remake of an Asian horror film; why has Hollywood found Asian horror films so worthy of re-visitation over the past few years? Do violent horror films release negative emotional energy or create it? Can violent, graphic images in films like this desensitize viewers? Does it matter whether the goriness seems "over the top"?

Movie details

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