A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
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
Filmed in October 2012, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2013, but not given a proper release until April 2014. See more »
When Kaylie is showing to the camera the pictures of past murders, when she's showing the first pictures her red nail polish is peeled off and then when she moves on to the next pictures her red nail polish is fresh. See more »
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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