Monday, September 29, 2014

Oculus (2013)

Starring: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, and Katee Sackhoff

Homicidal Entity: A mirror played by a mirror

Run Time: 1:43:57

Quick Synopsis:  Eleven years after the death of her parents and the institutionalizing of her brother, a woman attempts to prove a supernatural mirror was the cause of everything that happened.

There are a lot of ways a movie like this could have been done that would have made it horrendous.  However, to my surprise the filmmakers were able to avoid most of the bad ideas that usually ruin movies in this subgenre.  Most importantly, they focused on good storytelling rather than relying on cheap scares.  That is not to say the jump scares don't happen from time to time, just that this is much more of a psychological horror film than
anything else.  Some may not like the fact that the film goes from present to past very often without any sign of the shift coming, but the point of that was to give the audience the same feel of confusion that the characters in the film are feeling.  There are many times during the movie when the viewer, much like the protagonists have no idea what it real or imaginary.  The ending of the movie is mildly predictable, but that does not mean that it is a bad finish to the film.  Additionally, creating the parallel to the past is something you do not see performed well in a horror movie.  All the performances are above average, (even the child actors do their jobs) and the script and direction are even better.  I enjoyed this awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: Based off of the 2006 short film Oculus: Chapter 3 - The Man with the Plan.

Hidden Gem: When the mirror is sold at auction, the auctioneer states that the mirror was previously owned by the Levesque estate.  Making reference to WWE Executive Vice President Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H.

Total Kill Count:
Michael- James Lafferty (1:16:58)  Stabbed in Neck Gore Rating: 7
Marie- Katee Sackhoff (1:30:25) Shot in Chest Gore Rating: 5
Alan- Rory Cochrane (1:33:40) Shot Gore Rating: 3
Kaylie- Karen Gillan (1:35:36) Stabbed by Blade in Back of Neck Gore Rating: 6

            Horror Film: 7
            Entertainment: 8
            Suspense: 8
            Overall: 7.5