6.5/10
117,886
483 user 363 critic

Oculus (2013)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

Director:

Mike Flanagan

Writers:

Mike Flanagan (screenplay by), Jeff Howard (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,741 ( 178)
3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Gillan ... Kaylie Russell
Brenton Thwaites ... Tim Russell
Katee Sackhoff ... Marie Russell
Rory Cochrane ... Alan Russell
Annalise Basso ... Young Kaylie
Garrett Ryan ... Young Tim (as Garrett Ryan Ewald)
James Lafferty ... Michael Dumont
Miguel Sandoval ... Dr. Shawn Graham
Kate Siegel ... Marisol Chavez
Scott Graham Scott Graham ... Warren
Michael J. Fourticq Michael J. Fourticq ... St. Aidan Security Guard
Justin Gordon ... Mark (Supervisor)
Katie Parker ... Phone Store Clerk
Bob Gebert ... Neighbor
Brett Murray ... Officer 1 (as Brett Luciana Murray)
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Storyline

The twenty-one-year-old Timothy "Tim" Allen Russell is discharged from a mental institution by his psychiatric Dr. Shawn Graham completely healed from a childhood trauma where his father purportedly tortured and killed his mother before being killed himself by Tim. His sister Kaylie welcomes him in the parking area and brings him home. Then she tells that they need to destroy an ancient mirror that she has found through working at an auction house. She then steals the mirror and the reluctant Tim follows his sister and has fragmented recollections from their childhood, going back to when his father Alan buys a mirror for the home office of their new family home. Kaylie and Tim see a woman with their father in his office and the behaviors of Alan and Marie change, ending in a family tragedy. Kaylie blames the mirror and now she wants to destroy it with Tim. Will they succeed? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You see what it wants you to see.

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror, violence, some disturbing images and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 24 days. See more »

Goofs

In the moving scenes when the mirror is placed in the home office there is a Dell 2013 model flatscreen monitor on the desk. These events were supposed to take place in 2002. Flat screen monitors were a rarity and were much smaller in size. See more »

Quotes

Kaylie Russell: The next known owner is an American railroad tycoon named Robert Clancy, 1864. Clancy apparently weighed over 300 pounds. In fact, while attending university in Connecticut, he was known as the South Windham Whale. He hung the glass in his ballroom in Atlanta. Later that year, Robert Clancy is photographed by a local newspaper, and, uh, well he's dropped a few pounds. His obit was printed a few weeks later. Doesn't list a cause of death. Unfortunately, he and his estate, and the glass are ...
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Connections

Remake of Oculus: Chapter 3 - The Man with the Plan (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Oculus (Remix)
Mixed by Paul Oakenfold
Additional Production and Engineered by Hank Kalleen
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User Reviews

 
A brilliant, creative, slow-burner of a horror movie sandwiched between a lackluster opener and predicable ending
12 April 2014 | by Joe_ChadowskiSee all my reviews

A while ago I reluctantly accepted that we will probably never see a truly groundbreaking horror movie again. A film that is both truly cinematic and gut-wrenchingly horrifying. Hollywood has just become to commercialized, too calculated, and to conveyor belt-like in its approach to horror. Everything is summer blockbuster, Oscar season, and the crap that comes out January-March. Horror has become a get-rich- quick investment for producers. Invest small, obtain profit 10-fold.

But once in a while, a horror film gives us a glimmer of hope. Not redemption, but a little window of light from someone who almost gets it. And the skunkworks group from the Saw-Insidious-The Conjuring clan are to thank for that. They're latest work, Oculus, is the story of a brother and sister who obtain a mirror from their childhood that (they think) was responsible for the possession and murder of their parents. They rig their childhood home with cameras and lights, and wait for the proof that the mirror is possessed to get captured on camera.

Oculus is properly scary and, once you get past the awkward first 20 minutes, has a wonderfully progressive nature to it. Too many "horror" film nowadays deliver an uneven stream of gut-punches in the form of BOOM scares and disfigured faces. Oculus relies on an unsettling tonality, and a quantum state of uncertainty, making it a much more effective scare. The colors and set design is vintage Gothic horror, and the majority of the film is flashback driven which is was a very creative storytelling method and integrates perfectly with the story. And there's a scene or two that were so intense, I was making noises like I was lowering myself into scalding water, and fighting the intrinsic urge to turn my head.

My frustrations are centered on the beginning and the end. The first 20 minutes of the film, which set the story in place, is the only part of Oculus that takes place outside the house. It feels tacked on, ham-fisted in its delivery and lacks narrative, especially against the rest of the film. And given the flashback-heavy story, I believe the setting of the story could've been built into the flashbacks, strengthing the narrative and setting the whole film inside the house, which would make the film feel terrifyingly claustrophobic. And about the ending... It's just clichéd, predicable, abrupt and leaves too many questions unanswered.

Oculus isn't the last word in horror or quality, but it's scary as hell and it does what so few horror films do nowadays; it dissolves the world around you and makes you buy into a ridiculous story. The weak narrative gets a little long in the tooth around the third act, and I was left wondering if the script was ever going to reveal anything worth discovering. And ultimately it doesn't. Much like the never-ending winter we've had, we've had so many lackluster horror films lately, that when an average film comes along it feels like a gift.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Blog | Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oculus See more »

Filming Locations:

Mobile, Alabama, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,005,402, 13 April 2014

Gross USA:

$27,695,246

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,459,951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Auro 11.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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