Veteran Spanish film composer Javier Navarrete makes his U.S. debut with his score for Mirrors, a horror film by French director Alexandre Aja that is not so much a remake of the Japanese movie The Mirror as a newly written story based on the same theme, which may be summed up as baddies who come out of mirrors to threaten a security guard played by Kiefer Sutherland. Navarrete has taken an unusually traditional approach, using a symphony orchestra to come up with his scary effects. It is the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, a group much recorded, probably because of its modest price, that frequently re-records classic film music for Silva Screen Records. This time out, the orchestra has all-new music to play, and Navarrete gets his money's worth out of it. There is a basic recurring theme, "Asturias," actually written by Isaac Albéniz, that Navarrete arranges in various ways, early on making it sound like a minimalist John Carpenter piece and, by the end, like Beethoven. In between, he creates many short cues that typically range from the wistful to the suspenseful to the frightening. A lot of horsehair must have been sacrificed on the bows of the string players as they scraped unpleasantly along to keep up the tension. Navarrete manages to coax some fairly disturbing sounds from the orchestra, as if to challenge the notion that one needs synthesizers to work up a good fright these days. The softer passages get fewer toward the end, until, at the late cues "Possession" and "Escape," all hell breaks loose. Navarrete seems to have done his job efficiently here, musically embodying the terror on the screen.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|Mirrors, film score|