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)

oculus

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).

oculus

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.

oculus

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

Halloween Marathon: Halloween Resurrection (2002)

The FIRST review for 2014 Halloween movie marathon starts with wrapping up the previous one.  Last year, I think, Netflix didn’t have this yet and I simply ran over in November and then writing month started so I had to tuck this away. Although a bunch of you told me that its better that I stayed away, it just didn’t seem right to not wrap it up.  So here we are!

Lets check out Halloween Resurrection! 🙂

halloween resurrectionDirector: Rick Rosenthal

Cast: Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin, Katee Sackhoff, Luke Kirby, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tyra Banks, Busta Rhymes

Picking up 3 years after Laurie thought she had beheaded Michael Myers and in turn is in a psychiatric hospital, she waits for him to find her eventually.  Knowing he is still alive and out there, Dangertainment, an online reality show chooses 6 students compensated with a scholarship to go investigate the house of Michael Myers when he was a kid to figure out how he became who he is on Halloween.  They will be trapped in the house for an entire night under camera surveillance placed around the house and their own cameras and microphones attached to them while live broadcasting to the public. Except things go horribly wrong when they realize that they are not alone.

halloween resurrection

Where to start for this review? Lets have a little recap of how I felt about the previous ones up to this point.  Its been a year so who remembers, right? I liked Halloween and enjoyed Halloween 2.  Halloween 3 was random and weird and really not my cup of tea.  Honestly, I don’t remember much except for that really annoying song/jingle because my boyfriend will start singing it all the time when he watches it.  Then, 4, 5 and 6 tried to bring it back to its roots and it was mildly successful although the story made absolutely no sense.  And then, we have Halloween H20, which was only good because of Jamie Lee Curtis but other than that, the story and idea and everything was so meh. Plus, the last few just became so predictable and Michael Myers wasn’t even all that creepy. And thats coming from me. If you’re new here, lets just say, I’m REALLY easier scared.

halloween resurrection

Finally we get to this one: Halloween Resurrection. There’s really nothing to do with nothing here.  Its just trying to modernize the idea with some live reality online broadcasting thing and bringing Michael Myers back as the man who just never dies because he’s evil or the devil or something.  Jamie Lee Curtis has the most convincing scene in this and then once these 6 teens start and a very laughable appearance of Busta Rhymes starts, everything just falls apart.  Its extremely predictable and not really scary at all.  Plus, this has to be the most uneffective Michael Myers because I don’t know, I just felt he moved so fast.  Isn’t he like 45 now or whatever? I mean, with all the accidents, you’d think at least he’d be even more at his menacingly scary slow-mo walking to create atmosphere but nope, not a chance.

halloween resurrection

I’m not going to say this was an absolute failure because nothing boggles my mind quite like how Halloween 3 became part of this franchise but there are a lot of downfalls.  Its really hard to comment on casting when its not really a big plus in most horror genres.  The cast wasn’t exactly stellar.  I was okay with the group of six although they were kind of stupid at times but Busta Rhymes was really annoying to watch.  Rick Rosenthal, however, as director does try to bring in some more Halloween atmosphere than previous instalments.  I mean, he did do Halloween 2.  I liked that one well enough and because of that, there was one creepy moment in this.  So like I said, not a compete failure.

I really have nothing to say, so overall, Halloween Resurrection is one you can probably live without.  Its absolutely unnecessary and some of the cast was really annoying to watch.

I am extremely happy that I’m done the franchise.  If you were wondering whether I have watched the Halloween (remake?) by Rob Zombie.  Yes, I have and I actually covered that in my first Halloween month back in 2012.  You can see it HERE! I probably should revisit it and give it a proper full review but that kind of slipped my mind when I was putting together the rundown, not to mention I’d have to dig it out of boxes again….so maybe next year 😉 I did enjoy that one as well 🙂

Have you seen the entire Halloween franchise? Which is your fave? Did  you think that any was unnecessary and if so, when did you start having that feeling?