Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Seidman
Cast: Karen Gillan, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane and Miguel Sandoval
“Oculus” is a family drama about how a mirror can ruin your life. I’m not a practitioner of Feng Shui, but I don’t believe that furniture placement can kill your family. But, possessed objects killing people is a staple of the Western supernatural tale. What was it about Central European fear of furniture that lead to everything from broken mirror superstitions to clawed feet on furniture? White people are crazy, but we keep on reinforcing this trope.
Supernatural thrillers aren’t horror movies. I know that the rise of the PG-13 supernatural movie has a lot of people claiming that horror is in the mainstream, but possession and spooky ghosts don’t make a horror movie. Horror is the application of gore and fear in a way that blends into the realized terrors of your dreamscape. “Oculus” is a decent B-movie affair that shows the before and after of a supernatural family attack. Think about the Freelings or any other ghost stricken family. Those guys never went back to normal.
While the film boasts a lot of talent, I can’t say that I’m into it. Karen Gillan and the present day company do top-notch work making you feel the weight of living with a ghost for over a decade. That’s great and all, but the first half of the film sags with the kids who I just can’t believe are worried for their lives. Why are 90% of kid actors such crap anymore? I’d like to see more from the team that made this film, however I want to see them tackle less ambitious projects. I have struggled to find a way to make that not sound like a slam, but there is real talent on display here. That talent just happens to trip over its own feet.
RELEASE DATE: 04/11/2014