Oculus, written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard and based off of a short-screenplay by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Seidman and directed by Mike Flanagan, the man behind the film Ghosts of Hamilton Street… and well, there’s no doubt about that they tried, I give’em that, but did they succeed?
First out, the story. A parent couple (Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff) and their two children, a daughter and a son, moves in to a new house, where the dad decorates his office with a gigantic antique mirror, which it turns out…. is haunted. The children barely survives the happenings, with the son being blamed for their parents murder and sent to a psychiatric institution.
“A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.”
That’s what IMDB says about the story, and that is kind of what the movie is about, but what they don’t tell you, is that a bit in to the first act, it looks more and more like she is insane herself, rather than the brother. With her being obsessed by the mirror and what it supposedly have done, she digs up information about its history and other supposed victims, including dogs, in order to vindicate her brother and destroy the mirror once and for all, just like they promised when they were kids.
The story is pretty good, with enough elements to deliver at least a decent horror film, but alas, that’s all it is….. decent. It’s far from the worst scary movie I’ve seen but it’s also far from the best. They utilize a kind of flashback-tool to drive the story forward, but at a point they overuse it and it makes the essence of the flashbacks more confusing than contributing, which I found to be a setback for the film. The scoring of the film, however, was brilliant, with ominous sounds and tunes almost throughout the film, which is a big ‘Must’ in a scary movie. Kudos to the filmmakers for that.
Sure, the film had a few creepy scenes that could’ve made me shiver and shake (had I not been desensitized over the years), but whenever you think something brilliant will happen, BAM!, a jump scare, and it turns out that the film relies more and more on just that, making it a jump scare-bonanza…. and you all know how I feel about jump scares…..
Brenton Twaithes and Karen Gillan (who playes the main characters Tim and Kaylie as adults), have a mere decent chemistry on screen and they delivered no more believable performances than Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun, but it is a scary movie and I’m having a really hard time remembering a scary film with great performances in it, so that’s just nitpicking from my part. They both show promise for future films, but they both are young still and there’s been a lot of people delivering poor performances at the beginning of their careers, so I think they both’ll be around for a while…
All in all, it was an okay visit to the theater, but it wouldn’t have mattered to me at all, if I had waited for the DVD-release. But hey, there was one thing about it that I’ll always remember….. and that is when my girlfriend was scared (yeah, by one of those blasted jump scares) and sends her bag of candy in the air, sending the candy all over the place…. hahaha, classic!!
Now, it’s time for me to drink a nice cup of coffe and do something else, but I’ll be back again soon with more goodies. What’ll it be? Maybe another installment of the ‘What If’-series? Or maybe a videogame fantasy-cast? You’ll just have to wait and find out, but until then….