Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oculus – review

Oculus is a horror film directed by Mike Flanagan who directed the impressive Absentia.  While the script is a bit weak at times, the story is fascinating and makes a very fun ghost story. The acting is also done really well considering the somewhat mediocre script. The editing must have been a daunting task, given the constant back and forth in the storyline between the past and present.

Eleven years after the murder of her mother and father, Kaylie, played by Karen Gillian, seeks out to prove that the mirror in her house was haunted. Kaylie is sure the mirror possessed her parents and drove them to kill one another.  Her brother Tim, played by Brenton Thwaites, meets with her in their old house to help confirm her claims. Between memories of their childhood prior to their parents’ demise and the illusions the mirror entraps them in, Kaylie and Tim begin an uphill battle in order to destroy this mirror.

The acting in this movie is genuine. Rory Cochran and Katee Sackhoff do a great job playing parents who are slowing driven insane from the mirror (much like Gollum with the ring of power).   The effects are dynamic, creating genuinely creepy moments.  The mirror has the ability to absorb energy from living victims, conjure ghosts, and induce haunting illusions, which makes a really fun concept.   

The weakest part of the movie is that the script was written with some clumsy dialogue. During the first scene that Kaylie and Tim share, their expository dialogue comes off forced and unnatural. Once things in the plot begin to pickup, the dialogue reaches a good stride and becomes really interesting.

Oculus is a good film. If you are a horror fan it is certainly worth a rental or a matinee. Oculus is a fun movie acted by believable actors. The movie shows quite a bit of skill and conceptually it is very clever. Oculus is enjoyable and will make even the more hardened horror fan squirm in their seat.

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