Most horror movies consist of cheesy acting and overly gory blood scenes. But in the case of “Oculus,” it is surely a film that anyone who is interested in the genre should see.
The movie begins with an intense flashback from one of the main characters, Tim (Brenton Thwaites and Garrett Ryan). The audience sees Tim standing behind his sister, Kaylie (Karen Gillan and Annalise Basso), while they are both in a panic trying to escape from the front door of the house. When they find the door is locked, they turn around to find a gun pointed at them.
However, the audience then learns Tim is telling his psychiatrist about a dream and the man holding the gun in this dream is Tim’s older self.
After years of being in a mental institute, Tim is finally released on his 21st birthday. Kaylie picks him up and takes him to lunch. In earlier scenes of the movie, Kaylie is at an auction trying to bid on a mirror. At lunch, she tells Tim she found “it.” Quickly realizing what “it” is, Tim becomes uneasy.
Kaylie reminds Tim of the promise they made when they were children. They believed the mirror was the reason their parents went insane and why their father killed their mother, so they vowed they would someday destroy the mirror for their parents.
After Tim agrees to help Kaylie, they go to their old house to put up the mirror and start their work. Kaylie, fully prepared for anything that may happen, knows how dangerous the experiment could possibly be. Because of her obsession over the mirror that killed her parents and 45 other people, she is willing to do anything to prove the mirror’s powers.
The mirror has different effects, such as, causing dogs to die, plants to dehydrate and people to go insane. The movie constructs a constant battle between past and present, along with what is real and what is a figment of their imagination. Kaylie and Tim both see and do things that cause them to question whether it is really happening, or if it is the mirror trying to scare them.
In many instances, they are led to believe that things have happened to them when they have not. They use each other to reassure themselves things are okay and everything happening to them is imaginary.
The way the movie was produced made the eerie storyline easy to follow while still making viewers question certain scenes. A movie like “Oculus” could be seen as difficult to follow, but director Mike Flanagan did an excellent job at making sure viewers could understand everything going on.
Going back-and-forth between the events they witnessed as children and what they were presently experiencing, Kaylie and Tim find the mirror’s supernatural elements were causing them to hallucinate and become confused with reality. However, the movie raises the question of whether it is an issue of mental wellness, or actual supernatural elements.
As horror movies should have, “Oculus” had every important goal of creating a thrilling, enjoyable experience. The music and sound effects included had the ability to make anyone in the audience even more absorbed in the movie. “Oculus” surprises its audience with an unexpected, chaotic ending provoking many questions for the movie.
With both aspects of a well-made movie and a great storyline, “Oculus” is definitely one of the best scary movies to come out in recent years.