Music By: Javier Navarrete

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland), a former undercover police detective and alcoholic, is forced to take a night shift security job in a fire-gutted department store in order to pay the bills.  Prior to becoming a luxury department store in 1952, the site had been home to a psychiatric hospital that experimented on patients suffering from schizophrenia .  Now, the building is just a burnt out shell, but some things remained in pristine condition, despite the fire – the mirrors .  Apparently the night shift guard that Ben is replacing was obsessed with keeping the numerous mirrors throughout the store clean.  Ben soon discovers why the guard had been so obsessed with the mirrors as he begins to see things in them – reflections of things that aren’t there, handprints, writing, etc.  When Ben learns that the man he was replacing died in the store and that several other murders have taken place in this location, he begins to wonder if the mirrors are to blame.  But the longer that Ben remains at the site, the more danger he is in, for the mirrors won’t stop at harassing him – no, Ben’s whole family is now in danger.  Can Ben solve the mystery behind the mirrors and save his family, or is history doomed to repeat itself.

            Most horror films rely on two things to make them scary – graphic visuals and music.  Music often makes a horror film that much scarier.  Levels of intensity in scenes are heightened by the music playing in the background.  Music that builds as scenes progress give viewers a sense that something scary is about to happen.  Loud blasts of music will make the visuals more surprising, often causing the viewers to jump.  The horror film Mirrors would need just such a musical score to elicit shock and fear in its audience.  Director Alexandre Aja enlisted the composing talents of Javier Navarrete to create the perfect soundtrack to compliment his horror film. 

            Spanish composer Javier Navarrete began his career in musical scoring in 1987 and has composed music for over 30 films since his debut.  Credits include Dot the I, Fireflies in the Garden and the Academy Award-nominated musical score of Pan’s Labyrinth.    For the Mirrors Soundtrack, Navarrete’s compositions are performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Adam Klemens and Richard Heins.

            I listened to the Mirrors Soundtrack on a dark, windy night which definitely added to the spookiness of the music I was listening to.  The very first track, Asturias/Main Titles, combines the sound of high-toned bells with the deeper-toned lower register of string instruments.  Whereas the bells would be considered rather pretty in any other composition, combining them with the more ominous tones of the strings helps to create a spooky, chilling effect.  Dark and low-toned music sets the theme for the mysterious goings on in Mirrors.  The music grows louder and more urgent as strange occurrences take place in the film.  Loud, high-pitched strings, horns and woodwinds indicate supernatural events in some scenes.  Drum rolls performed on Tympani drums add to the intensity of the soundtrack, giving the listener an idea that something big is about to happen.  Wordless choral pieces in both the first track and Track 22, Possession , add to the ominous nature of the music.  The chorus in Asturias/Main Titles is performed in bass which provides the music with a forbidding tone, whereas the alto chorus in Possession is designed to send chills up and down the listener’s spine.

            All-in-all, I’d say that, combined with the visuals in Mirrors, the soundtrack created by Javier Navarrete ought to produce some gasps from the viewing audience.  As a stand alone soundtrack, unless you enjoy music played in low-register for most of the 25 tracks of the album, I would say that this is one soundtrack you will want to pass up.  Javier Navarrete did an excellent job in his creation of the perfect soundtrack to accompany the chilling scenes of a horror film, but the album has little stand-alone value.  Of course, if you want to scare the hell out of Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween night, the Mirrors Soundtrack would probably be perfect as background music for your own private little haunted house.


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