A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
Directed: Mike Flanagan
What we think: Mirror, mirror on the wall, are there any of us confused at all? That is certainly the question to ask here, as Mike Flanagan delivers up his 2006 short, Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan, to the big screen.
After moving into their new home things take a turn for the sinister as parents Marie and Alan Russell go a little bit nuts, and a little bit dead thanks in part to an eerily looking antique mirror.
Now grown up and trying to forget the horrors of their childhood, brother and sister Tim and Kaylie venture back to the house along with the mirror to exorcise the demons that have been plaguing them their whole life.
Tim only just released from a mental institute seems to be fully recovered and convinced that everything that happened was in fact real. The same cannot be said for Kaylie who is sure that there is a supernatural force at play, and is determined to get to the bottom of it.
With enough modern day technology at her finger tips it’s only a matter of time before her theory starts to become a reality, and the shit really hits the fan. Plants die without warning, temperatures rise and hallucinations take hold.
One of the highlights of Oculus is the acting, Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane deliver spine chilling performances, and give us a real sense of a couple gone bat shit. While the younger Tim and Kaylie go one better than most of the annoying child actors out there today, and make for a believable pair.
The tension is orchestrated well, and builds up at the right times before Flanagan releases the pressure cooker environment at a horrific pace. The gore is few and far between, but Flanagan goes for deep rooted fear than look away shock horrors.
However, for all its neat little scares and tension building scenes Oculus seems to let itself down in the final act. There is a lot going on that its hard to keep a grip of what is reality and what isn’t, the film moves in long tracking shots, keeping the past and present siblings in the same house facing the same terror.
In fairness that should be a credit to Flanagan, who moves the story at a frenetic pace giving the illusion that all will be well in the end, but as an audience we know that is not nessesarily going to be the case.
At the end of the day it’s another family, in another house, fighting another supernatural entity, so there is nothing new here really.
Oculus is an intricate and at times complex story with an ending that is less than satisfactory. Of course it opens the door for yet another franchise to be born, as if the horror genre is lacking in these at the moment.
View the trailer…
Visit the IMDB page for Oculus
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