FILM REVIEW: Oculus

It’s been 22 years since Candyman made us scared to look in mirrors, and now in 2014 just when we were starting to feel safe again, along comes Mike Flanagan’s Oculus – time to cover up your mirrors again folks!

RELEASE DATE: Friday 13th June
RATING: 15
RUN TIME: 104 Minutes
CO-WRITER/ DIRECTOR: Mike Flanagan
CAST: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty

Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents.

Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether:  a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home.

Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century.  With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realise, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…

The afore-mentioned mirror in Oculus is the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror with a sketchy and bloody past, that seems to be possessed by malevolent forces. Its current owners are the Russell family: mum Marie, dad Alan and siblings Kaylie and Tim. The film skips between the past when the Russell family first acquire the mirror and the resulting horrifying consequences. Then we are in the present day with the now grown up Kaylie and Tim still struggling to cope with what happened, and determined to find out the truth and destroy the mirror once and for all.

Oculus struck me as a very old school horror movie, no shaky ‘caught-on-camera’ films that seems to be plaguing the market at the moment. Instead we have a film that relies on a plot that slowly builds up the tension until finally cumulating in a shocking ending.

Oculus to me had hints of classic films like: The Shining – as Alan Russell slowly starts to go crazy a little bit at a time, and turns against his family. The distorted and often horrible images the mirror shows you remind me of ‘that’ face scene in Poltergeist.

The acting in this film was brilliant, and understated where needed. Both Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane give excellent and believable performances of people slowly over taken with paranoia and the evil influence of the mirror. Child actors Annalise Basso and Garrett  Ryan were also brilliant as the siblings caught up in the slow decline and demise of their family, without knowing what is going on. Their adult counterparts Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites both pull off convincing American accents and play Mulder and Scully roles – with Kaylie being the believer and obsessively setting up the whole experiment and Tom the non-believer as a result of years of therapy who believes the tragedy was all due to mental breakdown within the family.

It was nice to have a horror film that  was more plot and less gore however I did find myself a little bored at times waiting for the inevitable jumps to occur. The switching between the past and present – especially towards the end of the film also got a little confusing. However that was probably Flanagan’s plan, to confuse you and put you off-balance in order to scare and shock you better.

All in all a well put together movie that was enjoyable. Did it scare me? – No!, but I have yet to find a movie that has! I am however positive that this film with unsettle and scare a lot of people and be a big success.

If you want to watch a horror movie that will unnerve and stay with you for a while then venture out this Friday 13th and watch Oculus but be warned that it may be another 22 years before you are able to look in the mirror again!

Check out the trailer below:

Rating: 3.5/5
GS Bloggerdarkphoenix1701

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: