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Reviews & Ratings for
Oculus More at IMDbPro »

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197 out of 324 people found the following review useful:

The best midnight madness movie EVER!

Author: mtrubic from Toronto
9 September 2013

As good as the Shining was something I said to all around me as soon as the picture ended.

Brilliantly conceived and executed. Fast paced action + beautifully shot + not too gory + a cast of characters you really cared about all combined to make this the best experience of jumping and screaming and laughing I've seen from a bunch of experienced horror show aficionados I have ever seen.

Good performances from all including the kids. Very unpredictable and wholly inventive storyline. Even the cleverest plots and safeguards will not defeat the pure evil of the Oculus.

Very good effort from some brilliant and talented people.

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129 out of 191 people found the following review useful:

A nasty 9/10 for oculus!

Author: Bwizzle420 from Canada
18 April 2014

No folks, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon here. This film really is that good.

The beauty of the film is it's way of telling the story. The way the film jumps from past to present is just so well done. It not only tells the story in an interesting way, it also compliments the main theme of the film. Not knowing what's reality or fantasy. While I applaud the movie for this it also affects the movie in a negative way. At some points the story is getting so intense and interesting and then BLAM! Back to the past. Relieving all tension that was built up in the previous scene. But then again it leaves you in suspense, waiting for it to return to the present to see how things are going to go down. All in all it's just a very unique and tension building way to tell this interesting story.

The acting in the film is top notch in my opinion. The entire cast gives strong performances, and you actually care about the well being of these characters. The only character I didn't care to much for was Kaylee's fiancée. But I felt that particular character wasn't a main focus point for the story so it didn't affect the film in the slightest.

The film also has some very creepy and dark imagery that really sends chills down your spine. The ghostly images projected by the mirror are indeed scary and do give you an uneasy feeling for sure. There are a few jump scares that actually did catch me off guard and are well done. Before each jump scare there is a buildup of tension so that when the scare hits you, it actually hits you. The lighting is great and so is the sound and musical score. The movie isn't heavy on gore or special FX but that's not a big issue at all. The story doesn't call for buckets of blood anyways.

There really isn't much I can say that was bad about this movie because it really is a horror gem. A real slow burner that messes with your mind and sucks you into its cool storyline of the supernatural. I'd give it an outstanding score of 9/10, if you're a horror fan check this one out!

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133 out of 201 people found the following review useful:

Please see this film!

Author: fritzlang from Durham, NC USA
11 April 2014

This is a classic ghost story.

I won't spoil anything, but for a haunted mirror movie, I found it VERY effective.

There are only really 6 people in the film. The parents, and the children at 2 different ages. The film is not really linear, and it took me a while to get the flow of the constant changing from today and yesterday. Once I got it, I found it very clever.

What impressed me the most, however, is that there is hardly any blood, no nudity, no profanity, no sex, no gore and it scared the crap out of me!

No, it doesn't reinvent the genre (can you even really do that with the haunted mirror genre?), but it is a well crafted, well acted movie that really kept my interest all the way through.

The young girl was especially effective.

The film starts off slow and methodical and really hits its stride about the half way mark.

We need more films like this. Smart, clever "little" films - a few characters, a few props and lots of chills and thrills.

Please see this!


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140 out of 220 people found the following review useful:


Author: dunnypop from United States
16 April 2014

When I first read a slew of positive reviews in 2013 about Oculus, I really wanted to check it out. I really enjoy the horror film genre however it's a real cynical bunch of viewers ("not scary enough", "not enough gore", "this has been done before"), and with the reviews coming down like "never seen anything like this", I was interested and skeptical.

Oculus is a slow-burn. It's slow and keeps to this pace throughout the film. This isn't the Conjuring which is pretty much fast paced... this reminded me of a mix Last Exorcism of Emily Rose and perhaps the Orphanage. You will either get really interested in how creepy the film gets or not. You will either really dig the layers of how things work in the horror realm or try to poke holes through everything (ex: 30 ft safe radius).

The genius of Oculus isn't the concept (haunted mirror) but the screenplay of disjointed story telling and flashbacks mixing into a coherent and perhaps a complex story. Think of it like a toned down Inception. It's effective because you eventually feel and question what is reality and not.

This is above mediocre but perhaps not for the mainstream. It's a great refreshing horror film.

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110 out of 163 people found the following review useful:

Twisted Story with Excellent Performances

Author: hugorocksmy from United States
1 May 2014

Even though it wasn't as scary or gory, as I wanted it to be. It still managed to creep me out and get on my nerves, with it's very creative and elaborate story and excellent performances from all it's cast. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the two younger actors played by Annalise Basso & Garrett Ryan, and the relationship they had as characters, which added a lot of heart and sentiment to the whole story. Moreover, this movie was more a drama with some horror, because it didn't played with the whole scare and gore factors, but instead it was more about the the story behind the mirror and the effect it had with the people that surrounded it. It would be a good idea to make this a franchise because of how extensive its universe could be, as well as how many different stories and characters it could incorporate and continue to haunt, even though it's ending was melodramatic to me, it felt conclusive and eerily heartbreaking. Overall, it was a very good little drama-horror film that goes more farther than you could imagine and think.

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76 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

Upon Reflection - Simply Brilliant

Author: Greg ( from Oakville, Ontario
11 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It was 2006 when director Mike Flanagan first caught our attention. We obtained a copy of his short, Oculus: Chapter 3 and were one of the first internet reviews of the short (a favourable review in case you were wondering). We kept our eye on Flanagan through the years through his follow up projects, Makebelieve (2000), Still Life (2001) and Ghosts of Hamilton Street (2003). But it was Flanagan's 2011 film, Absentia, that really put the budding director in the limelight. Absentia was a small yet ambitious project that did its best on the festival circuit before getting some attention on VOD and DVD and was Killer Reviews' pick as the best horror film of 2011. Flanagan is back behind the camera with Oculus, a picture that was picked as one of the Elite 10 of the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness Series. Oculus tells the story of Tim and Kaylie Russell (Brenton Thwaites, Karen Gillan). Tim has recently been released from a mental institution where he spent most of his younger years after he and his sister witnessed a deadly family tragedy that left Tim's psyche in a state of fragility. Only hours removed from the hospital, Kaylie convinces Tim that a mirror procured and displayed at the Russell household was the cause of their violent childhood. Kaylie is convinced that the mirror has a 300-year history of death and destruction and she solicits Tim's help in an attempt to confront and destroy the evil that possesses the antique mirror. Kaylie and Tim's attempts to find answers and draw out the evil lead to violent hallucinations and flashbacks that both siblings in danger and challenge the sanity of the recuperating Tim. As their night alone with the mirror draws long, Kaylie and Tim soon learn that the mirror is still the dominant force and their attempts at closure soon become a race for survival. If Absentia was Flanagan's Star Wars, then Oculus is his Empire Strikes Back. A better more polished film, Oculus was as eerie and involving as it was particularly complex in its non-linear storytelling. Much like Absentia, Oculus is intelligent in its unravelling and doesn't cater to the microwave generation's want for a high body count while still delivering the goods. The acting was stellar with familiar faces Rory Cochrane (CSI: Miami) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) complementing the adult Gillan and Thwaites). But is was the performance of the younger Kalie (Annalise Basso) that steals the movie with a virtuoso performance that demonstrates the young actor's range. Horror fans that have longed for a good and clever thriller involving ghosts and the paranormal will have their thirst quenched with the smoothness of a 12-year-old Scotch. Oculus is everything we could have hoped for from the no-longer-unknown Flanagan. It is a superior thrill ride that will challenge audiences to keep up with the fast moving plot developments while delivering upon an onion layered type screenplay that will keep your guessing not only in what happens next, but if what is happening is even real.

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58 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Best horror film I have seen in a while

Author: Sam Lynn from United Kingdom
19 June 2014

This film was fantastic. I was creeped out the entire time, right from the introduction of the mirror. There has always been something slightly disconcerting about staring into a mirror at night, half expecting someone to jump out from over your shoulder. This film captured the essence of this perfectly. There was not a lot of action, not much blood or violence, but just enough to scare the audience. Just when you think that you have the mirror figured out, something else comes around to make you think otherwise. It makes you wonder if the characters are just crazy, that none of the film is actually real. You will never know exactly what is going on. That is what made it such a well done horror film, backed up by great acting performances from both adults and children. If you enjoy horror films as I do, go to see this film, you will not be disappointed!

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74 out of 122 people found the following review useful:

Instant Horror Classic!

Author: The Movie Vlog ( from Canada
3 April 2014

This was really not that bad for a horror movie. The whole mirror monster sort of thing has been done before but what made this movie refreshing to me was the complete mind trip that was going on throughout the movie. I spent more than like 3/4ths of the movie utterly confused yet it made sense by the end. It was all over the place but slowly, I was able to piece things together. I personally thought it had the right amount of horror that it was actually able to make me jump at some parts without being too cringe worthy like most horror films are. Also, I was impressed with what was done despite the simplicity of the film. Tons of thrills, tons of fun. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this.

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51 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Psychologically disturbing- ORIGINAL

Author: morgane0108 from United States
18 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I cannot believe that people are giving this movie low ratings. As an avid horror movie fanatic,it takes a lot to freak me out in a movie and this movie not only disturbed me it stood out to me.This movie is based off of psychological mind tricks and you will feel as if you are being deceived by the mirror.This does not get its horror based off of cheap jump out scares or gore, it messes with you so you no longer know what's real and what's not. While the ending was very abrupt,I love how the whole film mirrors itself in the past and that the two story lines interconnect.This may not be for everyone, but I can say that this movie is psychologically terrifying. This generation is used to over used gore and predictable horror, but this movie is different than that. Despite what others say it is not just another scary movie. I left the theater afraid after all of the illusions the movie pushes you through. It is slow, yes, but it is full of suspense and the slow dread adds to the plot. I bet the people who rate this low are into the shock factor and gore of other horror movies. Give it a chance.

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32 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

An awesome film that kept my blood pressure up the whole time!

Author: phil-35-335627 from Bristol, England
23 June 2014

Oculus is a nail biting thrill ride which artfully takes us on a complex journey of the two main characters and it charts how their lives have morosely ended up at this salient moment in time. We are frequently taken back to the past and brought back to the present with an ease that defines the characters and the film. There is little in the way of location and this adds to the desperation of the characters as they live out their lives constrained by an evil power. The whole cast are exceptional and their performance draws you deeper and deeper into the film, and has you mentally willing to help these poor souls in anyway you can. The direction and script are outstanding and intelligent without being all smart ass! An excellent movie and a must for movie fans who enjoy losing themselves in film.

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