MV5BMzE1NzM4MjEyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjYzMjMzMTE@._V1_SX214_AL_What’s it all about?

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

Haunted mirror alert!

Why did I want to watch it?

I really like Karen Gillan and wanted to see her in a role that didn’t have her almost unrecognisable under blue make-up (see Guardians of the Galaxy). I like a good horror film. I love haunted mirrors (especially the one featured in The Gatecrasher, one of the stories in From Beyond the Grave with the great David Warner).

What did I think of it?

I think the first thing to say about Oculus is that I didn’t find it at all scary. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nicely creepy and has occasional jumps intended to be frightening but it’s more of a psychological study in obsession than a traditional horror but works very well.

So Tim (Brenton Thwaites) is being released from a mental institution where he has been since he was a young boy because he shot and killed his father who had apparently murdered his and Kaylie’s (Karen G) mother after seemingly going mad. He’s locked up because of the whole “possessed mirror made my Dad do it stuff”. Kaylie has managed to get access to the mirror and wants Tim to help her prove that it was a supernatural entity that caused all the bad things to happen. Cue mayhem.

When your heroine looks at a mirror and says “Hello again. You must be hungry” you can tell this isn’t going to end well.

I really liked the two lead characters in both their child and adult incarnations and I thought the structure worked very well, constantly and effectively moving backwards and forwards from the present day to the events leading up to the night of the murders. There is some interesting stuff about memory and especially how it can be affected by therapy – Kaylie is convinced that Tim went into the institution sane and they have turned him”mad” but of course the question is whether she herself, having received no help growing up to deal with all of this, is actually the one who is mad.

There was only one way this was going to end (there is some very very obvious foreshadowing) but I wasn’t quite sure who exactly was going to come out alive. And the ending is nicely inconclusive. Interestingly, the film has grown on me since watching it a few days OK and I’d be happy to watch it again.

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