Film Reviews


Often kidded for the many times he bellows "Dammit!" at 11th-hour moments on 24, Kiefer Sutherland finally gets to show his range — and he proves equally skilled at "Goddammit!" and "Shit!" Even so, it's a mystery why Sutherland attached himself to this dour, muddled thriller (copied from a Korean shocker) about a tormented ex-cop literally bedeviled by evil forces that use mirrors to stalk their prey. The demons have powers that wax and wane at whim, like wizards at the command of a 12-year-old Dungeonmaster: One moment they can yank apart someone's jaws, the next they can't even steer Sutherland's car into an oncoming truck. Fans of murky tedium will be in heaven: Apart from a few gory moments, French splatter maven Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) directs on the principle that a movie cannot have enough scenes of someone creeping through dimly lit sets, although it gets a little livelier (and somehow even dumber) once the spirits invade the home of Sutherland's estranged wife (Paula Patton). Aja saves his one clever visual trick for the end, along with a Zabriskie Point finale full of slow-motion exploding glass. Maybe that's why the ungodly 110-minute running time feels like 47 years of bad luck.

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Jim Ridley
Contact: Jim Ridley