Madness in a Mirror: An “Oculus” Review

And yet again, I am reminded not to judge a film by its movie poster. Oculus’ movie poster didn’t do so well in the creativity department, but what the movie lacked in its promotional materials it compensated for with its substance and quality.
Siblings Tim and Kaylie Russell revisit their old home where their parents died because of a tragic incident during their childhood. Believing that the death of their parents were due to supernatural causes cast by an antique mirror that they brought into their home, Kaylie convinces her brother to conduct an “experiment” which aims to prove her theory and of course, to ultimately destroy the mirror in the end. Kaylie sets up an intricate system of cameras, heat sensors, and a “Kill Switch” to prove her claim. However, the mirror seemed to be capable of defending itself, and it’s not going to let the night pass without a fight.

Oculus Trailer

The movie didn’t really have a good first impression on me given its movie poster. When I learned though that this movie was done by the makers of Insidious and Paranormal Activity, I gave it a chance. And boy am I glad that I did. Oculus seemed to be marketed as a horror film, but personally I loved it more as a psychological thriller than a scary movie. The whole movie was smart and twisted and it’s gonna screw with your mind but not to the point where you start getting confused instead of having fun.

What’s different about Oculus is that simultaneously tells you two different stories set in two different times. As the plot progresses in the present, it also shows you the events that happened in the past which led to the current circumstances of the leads. Eventually, both timelines slowly and creatively merge. In spite of the two stories being shown simultaneously, it doesn’t get confusing for the audience but in the contrary, it becomes more intriguing and captivating.
“Why is your right hand, so much bigger than the left?”

This is the kind of movie that makes you think, make guesses, and annoy your movie buddy with questions right after leaving the cinema. Much more than the ghosts, and the scares, and the creepy make-up, it was the smartness of the movie that appealed to me. True, it did leave a lot of unanswered questions, but the open-ended finale makes room for a potential sequel where things may be explained in detail – just like what they did with Paranormal Activity.
This is why you don’t mess with a lady on her period.

This movie is now one of the reasons why I won’t even glance at the mirror when I wake up the middle of the night.

Oculus Cast

Karen Gillan as Kaylie Russell
Annalise Basso as 13-year-old Kaylie
Brenton Thwaites as Tim Russell
Garrett Ryan as 10-year-old Tim
Rory Cochrane as Alan Russell
Katee Sackhoff as Marie Russell
James Lafferty as Michael
Miguel Sandoval as Dr. Graham
Katie Parker as Annie
Kate Siegel as Marisol

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Credits to the images and videos used in this post go to “Oculus” and/or to their respective owners. I do not own these materials. No copyright infringement intended.
Geoffrey Ledesma

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