Alex, you have disappointed me. After your pathbreaking movie HAUTE TENSION, which gave some fresh blood injections to the slasher genre (hehe, sorry for the bad joke!) and was foundation of many outstanding french terror movies (FRONTIER(S), INSIDE or EDEN LAKE named for example), it was followed by your extraordinary Hollywood debut with the remake of Cravens THE HILLS HAVE EYES in 2006. All Eyes on Aja, was the message of the day. The script for P2 was the first deduction point…..okay, Franck Khalfoun was director and surely screwed something up and therefore the flick was rather lame….you wish! Your latest work again is a remake, this time from Asia (INTO THE MIRROR, South Korea) and again for the most part boring. Because here too, the gore content is very low and the suspense factor as well kept within a limit. What’s responsible for? You could not make up your mind what you are going to shoot. Is it a ghost movie? Or one with demons? Or one with a split personality? More action, or still more thrill? Gore or not? The result was a confused piece of cinema with unmotivated inserts of violence, which are more hype than substance. In fact – like we are used from you – these are extraordinary radical, but do not seamlessly fit into the picture. Kiefer Sutherland tries to put a broken (because addicted to pills and alcohol) antihero on stage (how come? What drove him into the addiction – was he even addicted? - no explanations) and is doomed to failure. He never was that good actor for playing the primary role in a movie. Even more if it is confused like this one here! Best example Amy Stewart! Yet having ample opportunity in BUTTERFLY EFFECT with breaking hearts and bailing out her total talent she now in MIRRORS has only some lines and a pitiful mien before her sudden meeting of her maker. Brownie point for the good score of Javier Navarrete, who already improved the brilliant PANS LABYRINTH and the successful camera work of Maxime Alexandre (your buddy who already supported you in HIGH TENSION and HILLS HAVE EYES). Said with caution - everything else is irrelevant! What a shame! For american conditions and habits this might be sufficient but my demands are higher.
Nevertheless, for getting a rated R the theatrical version had to be shortened, noticed while having a look on the just released unrated DVD from the US. On the cover the lurid message („…too terrifying for theaters“), however only close-ups from the peaks of violence or additional shots have been removed to please the MPAA. The cutbacks are not so especially important or even exorbitant radical, so that the viewer is also well advised with the german version (unfortunately includes only the rated R version). Compared is the rated R with the unrated version both included on the US DVD.
Opening sequence: Lewis is slashing open his throat. At this point the additional close-up of the bleeding gash is missing and the following knee shot is also shortened at the beginning.
( 3 sec. )
Angela commits suicide / is put to death. The first side view on her face in the bath tub is interrupted from an insert on the mirror in the unrated version. Blood splatters on it.
( 1 sec. )
An additional close-up of the jaw being ripped more apart.
( 1 sec. )
And a final zoom onto the reflection in which the jaw is almost torn off – previous to the birdseye view on the bath tub.
( 2 sec. )
At Essekers Farm. Annas brother shows the dungeon. Thereby flashbacks are faded in. The already horrible close-up of the breaking nails is interrupted from two ultra short close-ups of Annas eyes and mouth in the unrated version.
( 8 single frames )
Cutback St. Matthews. The close-up view of little Anna on the bed is interrupted from a short take of her wounds and eyes.
( 2,5 sec. )
Alternative frame material: when Sister Anna is hit from the mirror it’s a bit more bloodier in the unrated version. There is no time difference!
Alternative frame material
Ben pushes the demon onto the broken heating pipe. In the unrated version there already is a close-up of the pipe poking out of the chest after the side view.
( 12 single frames )
This close-up takes place now in the theatrical version and runs about half a second longer!
( + 12 single frames )
However, only in the unrated version an additional close-up of the pipe poking out of the chest and a zoom onto the face of the screaming with pain demon, is available after Ben aims at the demon with the pistol.
( 1,5 sec. )