Don't go by the rating you see here. That rating is only because they said this was a horror film. As a comedy, one that makes you laugh out like a mad child, this is perhaps the best one of the year. Much funnier than my personal film of the year, Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye
. But then I realized that the film is close to two hours long, and that the joke is on me.
Sigh. I have been an unabashed supported of Alex Aja since the day a friend recommended High Tension to me. I stuck though the weird ending, and I stuck through what was lambasted about The Hills Have Eyes. But man, Alex, you have to give me something to work with here. From an interesting opening credit sequence to the first "Man, this is terrible!" comment, it takes 7 minutes. This movie is that bad.
Nothing works, literally nothing. There a few gore scenes that are done well, but Aja can do those with one hand tied behind his back. The acting is downright horrid, the story is utter tripe, and the basic conceit is so freaking ludicrous that I found it offensive. It's a horror film, so getting a high concept is not a problem for me. What is a problem is that the concept is never contained in any rules or things as basic as structure.
Kiefer Sutherland plays Ben, an ex-cop who takes the job of night watchman at a burned down store that has not been touched for the past 5 years. There was a fire at the store, you see, and it killed some people. While snooping around, he finds that the mirrors in the store are evil. They show you things that are evil and not true, and then some things that are true yet evil, and then some things that make no sense, but are, ostensibly evil. All of this hurts you.
Because of all the evil.
This is so ridiculously used that you would be rolling your eyes. Pretty soon, all mirrors are evil, not just the ones in the store. The mirrors can and can't do different things, depending on the whims of the director. They soon expand into the evil being in all reflective surfaces, which is room for much comedy. Ben also has an ex-wife and two kids who are in imminent danger, so he lurks about their home painting all the mirrors, never once bothering with other reflective shit.
There's a moment where Ben calls his wife to warn her, and he warns her about water, because, he explains, water can create reflections. That, there, is the biggest problem with the acting in the film. Given ridiculous plot moments and terrible dialog, Kiefer plays it completely straight as an extension of Jack Bauer having a freaky day.
His performance is laugh-out-loud bad, with him infuriated by all the freaky and nonsensical things that the mirrors can do. Everybody else is equally bad, which includes Paula Patton as the wife and Amy Smart as the sister who is there only to get killed in the bathroom, because we all know horror movies need a babe-in-the-bath murder sequence.
There is nothing interesting by way of a horror film either - nothing is even remotely interesting, and while there are a couple of moments, everything else is so flat, it's shockingly bad. The production values are terrible as well, with no semblance of continuity or common sense. This is a product entirely constructed together in the editing room while completely drunk.
This could have been one of those films that are so bad they're good, but it is 2 hours long, and you spend money on it, so really, you should be laughing at you, not the film. Watch it when it eventually makes its way to network television if you must. It's not even worth the rent of a DVD.