'Oculus' reflects psychological fear of mirrors
Oculus is a Grade A #1 Mindf---. As far as horror films go, this movie, stamped with the WWE logo and nary a professional wrestler in sight, was truly disturbing.
Karen Gillan (Amy Pond in Dr. Who) as Kaylie delivers a nuanced performance that will leave you wondering if she is obsessive and crazy or right. Katee Sackhoff, who plays the mother to a younger Kaylie, is on display in all of her whacked out craziness, but it is a roll she grows into.
The movie, about a mirror that only lets the viewer see what it wants the viewer to see, starts off with Kaylie’s brother, played by Brenton Thwaites, being released from a mental ward. It then proceeds to flash from present to past to illusion until everything is so mixed that no one on screen or in the audience is exactly sure what is real and what is imagined.
While the ending will leave some people flat, it wasn’t exactly predictable. It also wasn’t happy, necessarily clear, or anything less than disturbing and unHollywood. Normally, leaving the theater wondering what the hell was on the screen isn’t a good thing. In the case of Oculus, it works.
If you are looking for a slasherfest, you will be disappointed. This movie relies on the processes of the mind and psychology to be disturbing if not exactly scary. If mirrors and not being able to discern reality from fiction bother you, this movie will do more than make you uncomfortable.
See Romney's Review of Oculus on Movie Pilot where his reflection on the film is less positive than mine.