Movie review: Oculus (2013)

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Synopsis: Tim has been accused of murdering his father. His sister Kaylie takes him back to the family home, where they both suffered at the hands of their abusive father. Kaylie blames an ancient mirror that hung in their home for Tim’s breakdown and her fathers actions. She works to prove that the supernatural actions and exonerate her family. Will they be successful?

Director: Mike Flanagan

Starring: Karen Gillan. Brenton Thwaites

Review: I have to be honest, I’m not the biggest Gillan fan. I loved her in her first series of Dr Who, but felt she morphed into a generic, whiny side-kick and I’ve not seen enough of her other work to change this opinion. Having said that, I did enjoy ‘Oculus’, one of her first films post ‘Who’. Admittedly, Gillan’s and Australian Thwaites’ American accents don’t always hold up but they are so committed to their characters you can forgive them. The blending of past and present doesn’t jar you out of the story as often happens, and the sense of foreboding and suspense builds slowly. The breakdown of the father was well-handled and you felt his wife and children’s fear. The use of technology in trying to reveal the supernatural entity in the mirror seems to take a lot of explanation, especially as you’d assume Tim would know about cameras etc. but he’s our foil, to help explain things and also act as our voice at some of Kaylie’s more questionable choices. However, despite these minor issues, Oculus is an engaging, creepy, dark and spooky horror, well worth an evenings viewing.

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