Who was that lady in your office today?
Yeah, Dad, who was that lady in your office today?
I don’t know. Just some lady.
Halloween night. All channels are stuffed with horrors to entertain you during this scary night. Unfortunately, these are always the same recurring well-known movies (I’m sure the budget of the Film Department isn’t that big). Best I choose one from the seemingly endless list of never watched horror movies. And I always wanted to watch “Oculus” (despite some negative comments I’ve read). And I must say, I was still pleasantly surprised. Not because of the horrifying or frightening content since that part was almost missing completely. But it was because of the ingeniously interwoven storylines from the past and the present that fascinated me. Although it caused a huge muddle in the end. At some point I was so confused, I didn’t even know in which time cycle the story took place.
It’s a mirror again.
The mirror is a very popular prop in horrors (a nice compilation of famous “mirror scares” can be found here). Personally, I really liked the way a mirror was used in the film “Candyman. In “Oculus” apparently, an old, antique mirror is the source of all sorts of situations that get out of hand. Only one could ask whether or not this mirror is causing people in this particular family to see delusions. Or is it just a genetic disorder? And because of that disorder, the psyche of those persons start mixing illusions with reality. And that’s the sophisticated part of this movie. The intertwining of reality and illusion. Are there indeed dark forces hiding in this mirror? And are these forces encouraging an individual to commit heinous acts? Or are those personal delusions playing a major part?
Not an ordinary mirror though.
No or bloody situations.
“Oculus” isn’t about creepy or bloody situations. It’s virtually never scary. So, there won’t be any nail-biting moments. And except the apple incident and tooth extraction, this film is almost bloodless. Yet I found it exciting in some way. Two storylines from two different periods perfectly alternated, so the whole story is revealed in a slow way. As already mentioned earlier, this is somewhat exaggerated at the end, which in turn can cause confusion. In terms of performances are the teenagers Kaylie (Annalise Basso) and Tim (Garrett Ryan) the most convincing. The way they evolve from carefree youngsters into scared teens is played beautifully. The horror on their face looks tremendously realistic. The older alter egos were rather one-dimensional. Obviously, there’s the tension between them as a believer and nonbeliever. “Oculus” is not really groundbreaking and certainly won’t cause a stir in the horror landscape. But for horror fans, it’s still an enjoyable movie that rises effortlessly above the average. I even dare say it’s a horror for beginners. I’m convinced that they can enjoy a peaceful night afterward! Even if they take a look in the bathroom mirror while refreshing themselves…