Written By: Karla Cortes
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Mike Flanagan
Producers: Marc D. Evans, Trevor Macy, Jason Blum
Screenwriters: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Date Released: September 8, 2013
Karen Gillan as Kaylie Russell
Brenton Thwaites as Tim Russell
Analise Basso as young Kaylie Russell
Garrett Ruan Ewald as young Tim Russell
Katee Sachoff as Marie Russell
Rory Cochrane as Alan Russell
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Oculus centers around two siblings, Kaylie Russell (Karen Gillan) and Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) reuniting after being separated due to a horrific incident that killed their parents several years ago. The incident revolved around a demonic mirror that takes the lives of its owners within each establishment its placed in. Kaylie finds the mirror and convinces Tim to help her destroy it on live footage in the house that the incident occurred in. Although Kaylie is overly prepared and dedicated to destroying the mirror, both Kaylie and Tim are thrown through a terrifying mental game that the mirror plays on them.
Oculus (2013) has the perfect balance of bloody gore to psychological distortions. On one hand, the characters experience mutilations in the most cringing ways. From accidentally biting into a lightbulb with full force to slitting throats, the movie has its fair share of blood inducing scenes. On the other hand, the real gore happens due to the psychological aspect of seeing things that are not there and doing things that the characters do not remember doing. These two aspects play off each other to give cringe worthy scenes.
The Grave Review
Oculus (2013) had a very clever way of putting two horror movies in one. It’s tricky to be able to push a plot forward while simultaneously showing past events. Each event, present and past, mirrors each other perfectly to the point of confusion on what is real and what is an illusion in the movie. Although Karen Gillan’s unusually low voice in this film was distracting at first, it quickly matched the darkness that the mirror had bestowed on the two siblings and gave her character a more pressing personality.
The director, Flanagan, did a very good job in showing the fast decline of not only the atmosphere and dynamic of the household, but of the characters personalities throughout the film. It is not uncommon for people to fear the possibility that the mind can distort reality. In this case, it is a malevolent mirror that distorts perception to not only protect itself, but to feed off of the souls in its presence. The way in which Oculus (2013) depicted this distortion was creative and original. The film’s ending was truly the cherry on top and created a nice impact to the final moments of the film.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Oculus (2013) four graves out of fives graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review on the film, Stay Alive.