MirrorsJust when it seems like there have been one to many horror remakes, writer/director Alexandra Aja has come out with Mirrors, a remake of the Korean flick Into the Mirror. As with many recent horror remakes, reviewers have not been especially kind to this Kiefer Sutherland-led picture – in fact, it’s earned only a 15% freshness rating on RottenTomatoes’ TomatoMeter. And while the quality of the film as a whole may be suspect, there is at least one aspect of the production that deserves recognition: Javier Navarrete’s eerie score.

Following his Oscar nomination for Pan’s Labyrinth, Navarrete has now gained a bit of notoriety in the U.S. (and elsewhere) and it’s likely we’ll be hearing more from him in the future. And though both Pan’s Labyrinth and Mirrors allow, or demand rather, that Navarrete showcase his dark side, it’s clear from both scores that he has a lot more than just “dark” talent.

Placing music music written by Isaac Albeniz (and arranged by Navarrete) throughout the album as grounding points (“Asturias/Main Titles”,”Asturias/Investigation”,”Asturias/The House Is Safe”, and “Asturias/In The Mirror”) Navarrete carefully makes his way through the dark corners of this score. Using standard creepiness factors like faint voices (in “Farmhouse Basement”), pounding drums (in “The Dressing Room”) and carefully dragging strings (in pretty much every track on the album), Navarrette’s music is designed to be creepy, and it works.

There are a few moments of overwrought emotionality, such as in “The Quest” but for the most part Navarrete focuses his attentions on atmosphere and the rising and falling action. Utilizing moments of quiet to build suspense, Navarrete manages not to overdo the actual thrilling moments with the overly obnoxious crescendos that have become all too commonplace on such scores, choosing instead to let the constant driving strings display the horror, rather than going in for the kill. The sound effects and growling percussion on tracks such as “Keep Your Eyes Closed” go a much longer way towards setting a horror tone than anything else.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Perfect For: Creeping yourself out
Stay Away if: You’re looking for something relaxing
Download this track: “Extending Mirrors”

To purchase the score for Mirrors, visit Amazon

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