Oculus (2014)

Alright, well, I’ve made another trip to the theater and checked out the WWE production “Oculus” , here’s what I thought …

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Alright, so first off the movie is about :

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

What phenomenon? A huge, gaudy, and very evil mirror. The movie is, as far as I can tell doing very little research, based on a short film made by the same director, Mike Flanagan, called “Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the plan” I think that the new title is better. Anyways, Mr. Flanagan is a relatively new face to horror, his other effort was called “Absentia” which, I actually enjoyed. It’s not a modern-masterpiece or anything, but its a worth while little horror movie. Anyways, back to Oculus.

First off, the movie works. It has a foreboding-enough atmosphere, the mythology of the mirror is interesting, and Karen Gillan was enough to get me through the parts of the movie I didn’t care for. Now, speaking of Karen Gillan and the other actors in this movie… the acting is relatively flat all around, which was unfortunate.

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Gillan was able to coast through on my fondness of her from Doctor Who, but if I’m being honest, it seemed like there was almost more focus on sounding not-british, and really, she could have just been British and it wouldn’t have taken me out of the movie at all. Brenton Thwaites who played her brother was not particularly engaging. Actually, the children who played their young-selves delivered some dynamite performances comparatively and I look forward to seeing what else they can do.

The parents, played by Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff seemed to coast through the movie, however Sackhoff came into her own later on in the movie when her character had become completely mentally detatched.

As I mentioned, I didn’t hate this movie. It did make for a reasonably effective theater-going experience. Which, with some horror movies, that’s all you can ask for. There is a lot in the movie that relies on the soundtrack, and sharp, loud noises, so its a real jump-scare type movie. However, it’s not a lousy one. It does build up effectively, and I actually didn’t mind the disjointed way the story was told.

This one won’t be a horror film that is remembered for years, or anything, but if you’re going to the theater on a date, or on cheap night, or looking for something new to rent when it comes out on DVD, you could probably do worse than this.

I have to say, I’m a little surprised by the 7/10 on IMDB and the 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, and I do think the Doctor Who fanhood and their collective love of Gillan MIGHT be building it up a little bit. It’s not terribly unique, or terrible.

I’m not really sure exactly where I come down on it. I will say watch it, and if you can see it in theaters it might be worth the experience.

Final Note : I know it’s listed on IMDB as a movie released in 2013. I don’t care. It was released majorly in 2014, so lets not bicker.

Final Grade : C+
(changed from C, May 2, 2014)

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