Oculus (2014)


Pros
  • Fresh horror premise, a haunted mirror that has the power to warp reality
  • Does a good job explaining the role of current technology in the film without creating many plot holes
  • Establishes a great sense of ‘power’ that comes from the mirror
  • A few cringe-worthy moments
  • Director creates a kind of hypnotic world within the house
  • Suspense and dread are nice and thick throughout the entire movie
  • Explains the mirrors history very effectively and in a very interesting manner
  • Effective without hardly any gore (which is surprising in today's horror genre)
  • Both child actors do a very good job
  • Time warping is very effective and something you don't see in many movies
  • Seeing the mirror 'defend itself' was very interesting, controlling characters and such

Cons
  • Spends a tad too much time set in the ‘past’ exploration what happened when they were children (the future is where most of the excitement is)
  • The mother storyline leaves a few unanswered questions, not sure why the parents had different reactions to the mirror
  • The sister comes off a little TOO strong to her recently released, mentally ill brother
  • Leaves the door wide open for a sequel, something I'm 90% of the time opposed to
  • A slightly higher budget would have been nice, the CGI projections at times look poor
  • The overall strength/power of the mirror has to be taken with a grain of salt

Score: 8/10
One of the more refreshing and unique horror movies to hit theaters in a very long time, Oculus is a breath of fresh air. Oculus does a fantastic job of portraying the sheer power of the mirror and its dark forces that can warp the reality our characters live in. I was glad to see the movie give the backstory of the mirror and surprised at how effective and interesting it was. I was immediately hooked solely from the history of the mirror, without having seen any of its power. The only downside (and it is a pretty big one) to the movie is that it spends too much time spent on flashback scenes when the main characters were children battling the mirror at that age. I enjoyed seeing the mirror ruin their parents lives, but they choose to spend too much time on that aspect of the story.

But what makes Oculus great is how unpredictable it can be with its reality warping/manipulation ability, very reminiscent of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Something like that really keeps the viewer on their toes not knowing what is real and what is an illusion. Oculus isn't the best horror movie of the year (The Babadook easily takes that title), but it is one of the better ones to get a nationwide release!

Oculus (2013) on IMDb

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