Netflix A-Z: Oculus (2013)

One more week of Netflix A-Z before we take a 2-3 weeks break to give way to the Halloween marathon.  I have some fun movies planned.  However, if you do have any movies you’d like me to see besides the Nightmare series, do tell me and I’ll see if I can add it in 🙂

With that said, October has tried to have a little Halloween theme going on even though movie reviews are not the priority.  I mean Nanny McPhee was magical so I guess that kind of works. But this one, no doubt is a horror.  Oculus uses a very old idea of haunted mirrors yet at the hands of Mike Flanagan, I have complete faith that it can be rather decent. I mean, I like Absentia a lot.  Not much to say here, I remembered reading some mixed reviews over this one. I’m just worried that on top of my anxiety causing me to not sleep, this is not going to help either….

Still, I’ll take a deep breath! Let’s begin!! 🙂

Oculus (2013)


Director: Mike Flanagan

Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon. – IMDB

 What to say about this one? If there’s one thing that Mike Flanagan does well, its that he’s exceptionally good at creating and building a fantastic creepy atmosphere.  Oculus has plenty of that.  It creates this feeling that there’s something genuinely haunting this place. I don’t know if its the mirror but you just feel this impending doom about to happen.  Except, is there a whole lot that happens? How much of it are illusions? Is the mirror causing you to see things? All these questions really do pop up.  What is real and what isn’t? Especially since my biggest question is that, there are flashbacks of what went down 10 years ago for these siblings on both their perspectives but then they start seeing their younger selves so are they actually reliving the events because they are thinking about it or its that the mirror is controlling their visions? I guess when we get down to the movie, it doesn’t really matter what it is because this structure does work very well.  For a rather used premise of having haunted mirrors and reflections and the like, this holds a good premise.  The confusion of past and present emphasizes on the powers of the mirror (and maybe the character’s mental state and thoughts).


I’d be lying if this didn’t get under my skin a little and that I did jump a few times.  I did and the whole thing was pretty creepy.  But that ending…I really hate endings like that.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it but while its a crafty little ending, I still don’t appreciate it.  Does it keep it open for a sequel? I don’t know. I guess the point is that the mirror can’t be defeated. Its just pure evil.  But what I felt about this is that its really talking about taking responsibility and accepting the consequences of your actions (and decisions).  It starts that way and it ends that way. Since we’re talking about starts, the dialogue and the course of events in the beginning between the siblings here was really…bad? I mean, life decisions, right? I understand honor for your family and proving that this evil mirror cast blame onto your family but really? I mean, the brother just got out of psych for what was assumed that he had done like 10 years ago. Is that really something you want to do? But then, I guess, if they didn’t choose that we wouldn’t have a movie. It had nothing to do with the acting even, just the dialogue.


As I pointed out acting, the cast here is pretty good.  The two siblings as young adults were convincing in their roles but I liked even more the younger version of them and their parents here.  It all worked together to give some incredible scares as we watched this family break apart with the manipulation of the mirror getting a stronger presence.

Overall, Oculus took a while for me to get into.  It was scary and the atmosphere was eerie.  I knew when we’d get jump scares and yet still got scared.  I was a little disappointed with the way it ended even if it was unexpected in an expected way. I don’t even know what I’m saying.  I’m on the fence with this one.  I guess what it is is that effective horrors don’t only give you a scare in that moment but it has a lingering effect.  I didn’t have a lingering effect.  I slept fine.  I didn’t mind looking in the mirror (even though I don’t own an antique or anything).  Still, I appreciated the goal of Oculus because it did send some chills up and down my spine.  Most of those scenes were in the trailer, which is also what angers me a little nowadays. It works well and the structure and premise is pretty great and the mirror does have a presence.

Have you seen Oculus? What are your thoughts?

Next selection is a P title in horror! Any guesses? Hint: 2013