Two siblings haunted by a childhood tragedy learn that the source of their horror is a mysterious mirror with a dark history. Tim (Brenton Thwaites) and Kaylie (Karen Gillan) were merely teenagers when both of their parents were brutally butchered. Convicted of the killings and sentenced to protective custody, Tim serves his time while Kaylie drifts into a deep despair. Years later, a newly free Tim does his best to lay the past to rest. Meanwhile, Kaylie is certain that her brother was innocent all along, and that the antique mirror their parents used to own holds the answer to her darkest questions. Upon locating the long-lost looking glass, Kaylie's deepest fears are confirmed -- a menacing force inhabits that mirror, and it has plagued every owner who has come into possession of it. Now, as curious Kaylie reacquires the mirror, the nightmarish cycle of horror returns with a vengeance.
The only trouble with a horror movie when it’s pitched as one but then doesn’t whole heartedly turn out to be one is that it becomes a psychological thriller and then you don’t know what the jeepers is going on.
Writer and Director Mike Flanagan has already made Oculus once before, I’ve not seen it but when you get a budget to play with I guess that old adage, try, try again becomes rather pertinent. That’s not to say Oculus is any less… good buuuuuut it’s not exactly what’s advertised on the tin.
Oculus is more of a psychobabble between two adults as they try to decipher the demise of their parents, a demise they attribute to a mirror, a mirror that Kaylie (Karen Gillan) has spent her entire adult life tracking down. Meanwhile Tim (Brenton Thwaites) has been locked away for something I dare not tell you at this point for fear of spoilers but he’s been locked up and has spent that time repressing the horrors of his youth, the horrors of Oculus.
Now forced to face his fears alongside Kaylie, the pair set about documenting the mirror and the terror it creates for its victims.
The concept of the mirror itself is great in the trailer there’s an entity inside and it seems to be a terrifying jolt to the system. Not to be, Kaylie is on to the tricks of the mirror, she knows it can’t be destroyed, she knows that whatever they do will more than likely put the pair in harm’s way but she has to try to discover the truth.
It’s just a shame that this truth is more of a personal back and forth between Kaylie and Tim as they work out their issues, meanwhile we hop to and fro through time in order to relive what the duo went through, how their parents came to die and how the house was left empty for so long.
Oculus is a bit of a treat as it does star a BUZ favourite, Katee Sackhoff and can we just say, do not let her near the fine china, if Oculus proved anything it’s that you can’t trust Katee when it comes to crockery!
Oculus isn’t great but that’s partly down to the out and out horror marketing. The film itself is part horror, part psychobabble thriller and if you’re not prepared for the psychobabble you’re going to find yourself wondering why you’re watching the film. The mirror itself although playing itself part with its supernatural secrets really doesn’t get much of a look in when it comes to the main story, we never really find out what may have given the mirror its power either.
Good film but it needed a little more focus!