Oculus

Released 4/11/14                              Rated: R

I liked the concept, but for a horror movie it didn’t scare me. This was more of a drama. I also felt like it didn’t have much consistency. Not so much that it couldn’t decide whether the film wanted to be a psychological thriller or supernatural horror (which it couldn’t), but with the details. I felt like there was this big build up, a “meh” play through, and an ending that you both don’t want, and don’t get too often.

The movie constantly switched between the past and the http://collider.com/oculus-trailer/present; back and forth. Our sister-brother duo is remembering a trauma from ten years ago that tore their family apart while trying to both prove that the mirror is home to something evil and destroy it. Actually, having thought on it, it’s the mirror bringing them back to their past; they are reliving the horror, not just remembering it. I liked how they executed these recollections and the transitions between back then and their current situation. My only problem was that we seemed to spend more time in the past than in the present. What’s happening in the present is supposed to be the more interesting portion of the film, but it isn’t. Not that the past was much more itself. They could have cut down on the past story arc, and worked a little more on the present.

The mirror’s powers didn’t seem to be very consistent. It whispered to the dad, and it overtook his mind to show him things like it did for Kaylie and Tim while they’re trying to destroy it. I can see that being the case for the majority of the victims Kaylie uncovered while tracking down the mirror’s history. But whatever presence actually resided in the mirror, which is never explained or shown, took over the mother completely making her some kind of demonic dog in a human body. And why did it/they want to go after the kids?

[MAJOR SPOILER ALERT] Okay, so if the dad shot himself (and let’s face it, he shot himself, the son didn’t), and the force of the shot threw him against the mirror, cracking the glass, how in the world did that anchor come down on the Kaylie and not touch the glass at all?? I just don’t think it’s possible that the mirror supposedly came out unscathed even if it had a “shield.” Normally we get the ending of either good triumphing over evil, or evil being outsmarted only to return again, but here we have it just flat out winning. It’s not an ending that will win people over, but it’s nice to know this movie wasn’t formulated.

This could have been a great psychological thriller. It could have also been a decent horror movie. Unfortunately, every time it really started to swing one way or the other, it would change tactics. I liked that the mirror took over their minds without anyone realizing it. That could have really been utilized. Of course, I don’t know how Kaylie was going to prove that the mirror was playing tricks when none of it showed up on the camera…

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