Tagline: You see what it wants you to see.
Year: 2013 Runtime: 105 min
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan (screenplay), Jeff Howard (screenplay)
Starring: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff
Synopsis (from IMDb): A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
It’s nice when a movie surprises you with multiple levels of meaning. Oculus is one of those films.
Oculus is the story of a young man, Tim, and woman, Kaylie, siblings, who suffered a terrible tragedy when they were children. It opens with Tim being released from the mental institute where he’s been receiving psychotherapy for the past ten years. Kaylie is there to pick him up. Before anything else she reminds him of their childhood pact: to destroy the evil that ruined their family.
Kaylie, who has had to fend for herself all these years, i.e. without psychological help, has decided to go one step further. Instead of simply destroying the mirror, which houses the evil spirit, she plans to scientifically prove that it was responsible. What she proves is far more disturbing than she could have imagined.
The way the back story is laced with what’s happening contemporarily is mesmerizing, and because the mirror is using their memories, it’s confusing and terrifying, really setting the mood for the film. What’s real? Memory? Fantasy? Oculus keeps you guessing until the devastating Stephen King style ending.
Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan, young Kaylie and Tim, are EXCELLENT actors. A lot of times children actors tend to stick out, unable to fully convince with their emotions. That is not the case here. I could really feel their horror.
This is a great horror flick, intense, chilling atmosphere, blood without going overboard, mind fuck, the works! (I mean, look at that picture of Katee Sackhoff. CREEPY!) If you’re looking for a good scare, look no more. Oculus is what you’ve been waiting for.