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MOVIE REVIEW - Oculus

on 15 April 2014.

There are so many "scary'" movies made these days it's hard to keep them separated in your head.  The new Oculus though tries to be a bit different.

When you see the preview for this movie, you may say, "Well, here we go again.."  And being fair, that trailer does look like a thousand other flicks.  But the story here is original, and flat out better than most of these kinds of movies.

There is this family that 11 years ago was torn apart by a series of  violent events that seem to traced back to an antique mirror in the house.  Turns out this mirror has a 400 year history of supernatural events tied to it, and is thought to be responsible for about 50 deaths.  In short, it is a processed mirror. In this family, mom is killed, and dad is shot by his 10 year old son after dad became infected with what ever this mirror is dishing out.  The son then goes and does 11 years in a mental hospital.

The daughter who is 2 years older than the son, goes into the Foster System.  She learns all about this mirror, and has vowed revenge on the spirit, and is out to kill it.  Flash forward to today.  Her brother is released from the hospital, and they are all grown up.  They return to the house where the crime against their family was committed.  They set up an elaborate scheme to somehow harness and kill the mirror demon.  But he/she/they have other plans.  This is cleverly told in a mixture of flashback scenes and time travel scenes, which hold your attention. But what will happen?

           

The way this is done is actually quite good. Oculus is far more concerned in building suspense on a slow burn, and telling a story than being bloody or extremely violent. But don't be fooled, there is some tough to watch stuff here, and there are scenes that are graphic, but they are quick hitting and necessary. It has some of the same trademarks as all the others. Dark scenes, shadows, the predictable music, and some predictable moments.  And yet again, when things are going south, no one seems to want to turn on lights in dark rooms. But that's OK.  This has a better than average story to tell, and it's told well.

I have seen far more brutal movies. Sadly, this is set up for more of these up the line, and more than likely the "Oculi" that will follow will be far more brutal, bloody and violent. That is generally the formula.  This is also missing some with exit interviews with paying patrons. My gut feeling is that the young adults going to see this are disappointed at the lack of non-stop slasher type-violence and are bored with the story at large.  Even though the opening weekend was pretty strong, many are less than thrilled.

Oculus.  Better and more original than most scary movies.  Could be a bit too long, but overall pretty good. 

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