Movie Review: Oculus (2014)

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BOO! Got ya there, didn’t I? No? Well, screw you. *Sigh*. Anyway, hello and welcome to a review that has been teased a bit on my twitter (Cough, shameless plug, cough) over the last two(ish) days. Mainly because I knew that this would come around these days as the introduction to something special. And by something special I mean a series of reviews that I call “The Month of Spooks”. What is that? Well you obviously didn’t read my post the other day where I first used that phrase. What I mean is that since it’s October I should review some horror movies. I already got a few suggestions by a person here on wordpress and I will maybe review those movies at some point. But if you have any horror recomendations I suggest you put them as a comment on the post “The Month of Spooks” which is relatively recent so you know what you can and can’t recommend. Anyway, rambling over, review time!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Oculus”.

In “Oculus” we follow siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites). Ten years ago something very tragic happened to them which got Tim arrested and put in psychological care. But now he gets to come out, fully rehabilitated (yay?). However, his sister drags him into a sort of investigation to prove that a mirror is evil and is the reason every terrible thing happened to them as kids. And while this shit sounds like it would make for a terrible plot, it really caught me off guard. The plot is surprisingly deep and made me doubt everything through most of the movie. It made me ask “Are these guys just out of their fucking mind or is the mirror really an evil entity?” which is actually kind of great. The plot could also get really personal and emotional at times which is not something I ever expect from a horror movie, so that was kind of cool. However I feel like it started out a little slow. But after a little while the movie kicked into high gear and I was intirgued the entire way through. So high praise to this plot.

The characters all feel like they could be very real people… real people who are stuck in a terrifying situation. And the actors did a pretty great job. Brenton Thwaites as Tim was great, playing basically a male version of Scully from “The X-Files”. Now if you haven’t seen that amazing show then first off: Go watch it! And secondly: Scully is the skeptic of the two main characters in the show, and that’s what Tim is at first. And if Tim is Scully then that makes Kaylie the movie’s version of Mulder (the believer). And Karen Gillan did a fantastic job. What caught me off guard though was how well she masked her Scottish accent and did a terrific American one, she sounded legit. Every actor was really good in the movie.

The score for “Oculus” was done by The Newton Brothers and I think it’s pretty good. It’s tension-building, it’s well-composed and it just overall fit the movie pretty damn well. It’s also very electronic in how it sounds, not that that’s bad thing. Like I said, it’s a good score that fit the movie.

This movie was directed by Mike Flanagan who I have not seen anything else from. But I can still for sure say that he did a great job directing this movie, the shots look great. Here is a fun fact: This movie is apparently based on a short film that Flanagan made in 2006, also starring the character of Tim (Sidenote: Not played by Brenton Thwaites in that one). Another fun fact: It was shot in only 24 days which is a crazy short amount of time for a movie to be made. But I guess that since it is a pretty limited film in size and scope, that makes a little bit of sense. Also, since this is a horror movie, was it scary? Yeah… it was. But it isn’t like a “BOO, MOTHERFUCKER!” type of horror movie, it instead relies on dread, suspense and disturbing imagery to scare. And it did it perfectly, getting under my skin and disturbing me to the point of leaving my room after finishing it and then hugging my dog, true story. Would I call it terrifying? No, but scary and creepy are definitely adjectives I’d like to use for it which in itself is pretty great.

This movie has gotten some pretty mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Oculus” surprised me on every level. It has a great & emotional plot, terrific acting and characters, a really good score, great directing and as a horror movie it manaegd to scare me. Although I will subtract a little bit because it started out a little slowly. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Oculus” is a 9,57/10. Yeah, despite the slow start of the movie, it sitll gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Oculus” is now done.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the scariest piece of reflective glass of them all?

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