Sunday, April 13 2014, 07:58 AM MDT
Movie Review: Oculus
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff
Recommended To: Horror fans looking for a decent cursed object horror story.
Synopsis: Tim (Brenton Thwaites) has spent years in mental hospital after shooting his father after witnessing him kill his mother. Tim believed that a supernatural force, something related to an antique mirror, caused his father to act irrationally, but years of therapy have brought him to his senses. Nonetheless Kaylie (Karen Gillan), his sister, still clings to the belief that their father was influenced by dark forces and is determined to prove it to Tim and the rest of the world.
Review: Director/writer Mike Flanagan’s Oculus doesn’t cover any new ground in the horror genre, but it does at least present an interesting story (reminiscent of aspects of The Shinning) in a creative way that layers events in the past in with the contemporary action in a way that is visually appealing without making the narrative confusing. There are some scares, although the film wasn’t nearly as creepy as I would have liked. There are also some nice psychological aspects, but again I don’t think that avenue was explored nearly as much as I would have liked. The film’s end, while not a disappointment, feels a bit too inevitable. I prefer recent and similar titles like The Conjuring, Mama and the first Insidious, but Oculus does deserve to be seen.
-Ryan Michael Painter