The mystical thriller is based on superstitions and prejudices associated with the existence of a magical looking glass. This is an exciting film with an original idea, spectacular visuals and impressive scenery.
A frightened man in the uniform of a security guard rushes about in the gloomy subway labyrinth. The lights are dim, the trains rumble, and there is not a soul on the platform. The pursuers are not visible, and the man, distraught with fear, finds a safe haven in a utility room with many lockers. The doors open and a frightened face is reflected in the mirrors. The poor man desperately begs for mercy, but the cracked mirror surface shows a completely different picture – a man with a bitter smile cuts his own throat with a splinter. The bloodied body falls to the floor.
Former police officer Ben Carson, played by Kiefer Sutherland, is going through hard times. He was suspended from service for the murder of a colleague, he sought solace in alcohol. Ben’s aggressive behavior scared his wife and children, and he moved in with his sister. The poor fellow is trying to return to normal life – taking antidepressants and getting a job as a night watchman. His new “property” is the burnt-out ruins of the Mayflower department store. In the past, this favorite place of Bohemia amazed with luxury and beauty. Little is left of its former splendor, only the frightening figures of mannequins and surprisingly clean mirrors, polished to a shine, in which clear palm prints appear. This diabolical ashes also presents other surprises – the former servant of the law hears heart-rending screams, sees people burning, writhing in agony, and he himself experiences a terrible heat that devours him from the inside. The guard develops a manic fear of reflective surfaces. His anxiety worsens when he receives a package from the deceased Gary Lewis, who collected information about the fire.
Kiefer Sutherland’s character conducts his own investigation. He approaches his wife, Amy (Paula Patton), who works as a pathologist, to examine Lewis’ corpse. The suspended cop is convinced that his predecessor was killed by his own reflection. The wife does not trust the words of her husband, she suspects him of drug abuse.
Meanwhile, the bloodthirsty mirrors have chosen a new victim – Ben’s sister Angela. The death of the girl was terrifying, an unknown force tore her face, tearing off her lower jaw. The unlucky security guard is heartbroken, he goes to a department store and tries to break the mirrors. Not a scratch remains on them, even bullet marks are instantly healed. Ben asks what the devilish thing wants from him, and the answer appears on the mirror surface: “Esseker.”
Sutherland’s hero continues to unravel the mysterious case. He finds out that Terrence Barry (Ezra Buzzington) set the building on fire so that the fire would destroy the mirrors that demanded to find the mysterious Esseker. They killed Berry’s family because he didn’t follow orders. Carson realizes that his family is in mortal danger. He rushes home and wants to get rid of glass objects, but is faced with a misunderstanding of his wife.
A desperate security guard drives to the Mayflower. Before the department store, there was a psychiatric clinic, and a retired detective finds a hidden wing with a room of mirrors. He makes inquiries and learns that Anna Esseker is a patient at St. Matthew’s Hospital. The sick and the staff are dead, they made a real massacre, but the girl survived.
Amy makes sure that her husband is not crazy. A frightened woman calls her husband. They seal up the reflective surfaces, and the head of the family goes in search of Anna. He finds her in a monastery, and the novice tells that she was possessed by a demon as a child. Dr. Gale expelled him with the help of a special room, but the evil spirits migrated to the Looking Glass. Now a sinister entity wants to get out of a parallel reality. Carson threatens the nun with a gun and they drive to the burned building.
Locked in another world, the soul eater got to Michael. The boy opened the taps, and reflections appeared on the water surface. The demon attacks Daisy, but her mother saves her. Michael goes under water and Amy tries in vain to pull him out, the boy drowns.
At the sight of a novice, evil spirits rage, he wants to return to our world as soon as possible. Hot prayer destroys the “devil’s intermediary” – the glass killers shatter into many fragments. The child is saved, the mother pulls him out of the water. Ben is looking for Esseker, but the evil spirit has already occupied the receptacle, the demon controls the disfigured body. After a fierce struggle, Carson pierces a gas pipe with a bullet, and the evil spirit catches fire. The building is destroyed, the main character and the bloodthirsty monster remain under the rubble.
The family is saved, and the father is alive – staggering, he leaves a terrible place. But the rescue service and the police who arrived do not rush to help him, no one notices him. The excited man sees that the signs and inscriptions are written the other way around. A terrible guess comes to mind – he was in the looking glass. Ben approaches the window and puts his hand – a palm print appears in the parallel world.
The meaning of the film
Director Alexander Azha presented a high-quality and memorable work to the audience. There are plenty of tense and truly creepy moments in the film. The advantageous difference of this horror from many other horrors is the presence of a storyline. Events are developing quite rapidly and unpredictably, they make you empathize with the heroes who are in trouble. Fear for loved ones makes Sutherland’s character mobilize forces, forget about failures and depression. He is no longer a retired cop, tormented by a guilt complex, but a brave fighter who defended his family.
Films whose main mission is to scare and disgust usually do not carry a deep philosophical connotation. In Alexander Azha’s film, the protagonist utters a phrase that refers the viewer to Nietzsche’s quote: “If you look into the abyss for a long time, then the abyss also looks into you.” Obviously, the screenwriter wanted to hint at the fate of the long-suffering character.
Horror will delight fans of the mysterious and make you think about the nature of the paranormal.
Ben is a loving husband and father. A skilled detective, observant and persistent person. The incident at work unsettled me for a long time, and the feeling of guilt haunts me. He looks pitiful and lost, but when the life of his relatives depends on him, he changes dramatically. Carson acts decisively when he leads the nun to certain death at gunpoint, but later it becomes clear that he cares about her fate.
Amy is a spectacular young woman. She is a man of science, rational and pragmatic. In a difficult period for her husband, she was there and supported, but her aggressive attacks frightened her, she was worried about the children. The heroine did not immediately believe in supernatural phenomena, but then she had to fight for the life of her daughter and son.
Anna Eseker. She has endured a lot of suffering. She found peace only within the walls of the monastery. The nun was not inclined to self-sacrifice, Ben threatened to force him to help save his loved ones.
Conclusion: secondary plot and amazing denouement
In horror, there is no army of zombies or a crazy psychopath with a huge cleaver, rivers of blood do not flow, bodies are not dismembered. There are silent killers living in every house, and a distorted image, a fake copy of you with a wry smile, that’s a real nightmare. The mesmerizing soundtrack keeps you in suspense throughout the film.
But it is impossible not to note the feeling of secondary, and the point is not that the tape is a free remake of a Korean horror film. The creators used all sorts of horror themes and techniques: a gloomy mansion – a witness to numerous atrocities, a patient in a psychiatric clinic, the expulsion of a demon from a sufferer tied to a chair.
Questions arise about the illogical behavior of the characters – for the final fight with the monster, the main character took only firearms. But what about holy water, a cross, salt or silver bullets, at worst? Inconsistencies in the plot – why is the demonic offspring so eager to return to the human vessel? After all, with the help of glasses, he managed to arrange a bloody harvest. I would like to know at least the name of evil spirits, or better – a biography.
All gaps are smoothed out by an unexpected denouement. The unfortunate prisoner, locked in a parallel world, causes great regret.