Review: OculusOculus * by Mike Flanagan
Released by 20th Century Fox on 17 April 2014
Genres: Horror
Length: 1h 44m
Source: Seen online
Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty.

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A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

I don’t watch horror movies often, mainly because I don’t react well to them. I have nightmares for days, sometimes even weeks, after watching one and sometimes I hardly sleep at all. But sometimes, there is a horror movie that I just HAVE to see. Oculus is one of those movies. First, I wanted to see it because Karen Gillan plays in it, and I knew her from Doctor Who (where she played Amy Pond). Then, when I watched the trailer and read the summary, I also wanted to see it because it just sounded amazing. I didn’t get to see it in the cinema, but I don’t really mind that with horror movies, because nine out of ten times, the sound in the cinema is way too loud.

Personally, I thought the trailer made it sound a lot scarier than it actually was, because I didn’t get too scared when watching the movie. Maybe that is because I spend a lot of time looking at my phone when I thought it would be scary (you know; when the ‘scary’ song starts playing (I think every movie has one) or when the music cuts away completely). But still, the scary moments that I did see weren’t really frightening. Maybe I’m starting to get used to horror movies.

Throughout the majority of the movie, we only see four characters – two of them we see when they’re children and adults – Kaylie, Tim, and their parents. I liked this, because there weren’t really any other characters you had to consider; perhaps Kaylie’s fiance but we don’t really see him a lot in the movie. Of course, I really liked Kaylie, because I am a big fan of Karen Gillan; I thought the other actors were cast well too and that made the movie a lot better as well. I know Karen as Amy, of course, with an amazing Scottish accent, but for this movie she had to talk with an American accent of course. Personally, I think she did very well, though sometimes I think her actual accent bled through a bit. (But her accent was a lot better than Emma Watson’s accent in Perks, imo).

There was one thing I didn’t like though, and this might be a bit of a spoiler, but this movie has a lot of flashbacks.  I guess you could say half of it happens in the present; with twenty-three year old Kaylie and twenty-one year old Tim; and the other half happens in the past, ten years ago. But it’s also better, because usually in a horror movie, the thing that starts the story happens at the beginning of the movie, which is not always a good idea – here, you learn bit by bit what actually happened ten years ago, and why Kaylie thinks the mirror is haunted. Still, I think it would have been nicer if they had made it clear they were flashbacks, like with ‘ten years before/ago’ or something below (yes throughout the entire movie); or give it another colour scheme, maybe make it look old/grey-ish or something.

And the ending. Wow. View Spoiler »

In the end, I really enjoyed Oculus, though it’ll take me a while to stop looking at my mirror as if it can attack me at any moment. If you’re a fan of horror movies, I definitely recommend this one to you!

My opinion in one gif: