By the time this came out, I had seen the gruesome HIGH TENSION and THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake (I still contend that HIGH TENSION is a complete rip off of a TV movie called INTENSITY. It’s good but I consider it a remake). So Aja had made two remakes – and they were filled with brutal violence – so I was excited to see what his first original film would be like. So I went to see this in the theater but came out of there thinking it wasn’t very good and filled with more holes than some of my underwear that I refuse to throw away – BECAUSE THEY’RE JUST NOW GETTING BROKEN IN!!!! I recently gave it another watch and didn’t come away with anything to salvage from it other than it’s dumber than I originally thought and the big climactic ending battle was pretty laughable. And then I learned this was also a remake. SPOILERS ahead.
SO Kiefer Sutherland and his gravelly voice plays a cop again: burned out and depressed and alcoholic, who gets a job security guarding a burned down, massive department store that has creepy mannequins and shit hanging around and spotless, gigantic mirrors everywhere. You see, the first security guard had slit his own throat because he was obsessed with the mirrors – which is why there was a job opening in the first place – and soon Sutherland is seeing and hearing things and for some unknown reason the ghost in the mirror makes his sister, Amy Smart and her bare butt, rip her own face off. How about that action??
Before too long, because Sutherland’s an ex-cop with access to EVERYTHING, he learns that the aircraft garage sized department store is built over some sort of stupid research facility where some doctors or scientists tortured some poor girl years and years ago to exercise her demons which are now stuck in the fucking mirrors. He also learns that she got released, became a nun and now lives in a convent somewhere upstate – a convent with no mirrors. Repeat – a convent with no mirrors. Because the demon ghost thing can getcha if you look in a mirror.
But wait. As we reach our climax, the demon thing can suddenly getcha through anything reflective, such as doorknobs, butcher knives and – obviously, water. So, we are left to presume that this convent the nun lives at has no cutlery, all of the doors don’t lock, these nuns never bathe and never drink any life sustaining H2O. OK. Why is the demon ghost doing this in the first place? It / she’s trying to get Sutherland to bring her the nun, so what better way to do that than drive him insane and try and kill his family? Eventually he makes his way to the convent and tries desperately to convince her to come back to the place she was tortured and face death at the hands of her demon / ghosts but she refuses because she doesn’t want to die. “But it’s for my kids!!!” Sutherland pleads. “OK” she agrees and they set off so she can get murdered.
Back at his family’s house, the demon has flooded the upstairs and the mom is running around in a wet, white tank top. Back at the asylum the woman meets her demons that turns into some sort of fucking monster that Sutherland blows up with a leaky gas pipe. It’s convenient that the mausoleum / burned down department store has no electricity but someone, thank god, has been paying the gas bill. Success!! As the movie ends, poor ole Sutherland is now trapped in the land of the mirrors and everything he sees is in reverse. YAY!! Mirrors = not so good.