Oculus (2013)


High production rarely deals with horror as a film genre, and when you hear about a horror title, it is almost certain that you will achieve lower production. More or less, such is the situation in the case of the theme of our text, the film Oculus (Mirror of Death). On the other hand, this can be a real blessing for filmmakers, if we take into account the relationship between what is invested and what is gained. A perfect example of this is the Saw franchise, which started the whole story with a very low-budget film, only to later become one of the most popular horror franchises, and by God, the most profitable. Of course, only if the film passes to the audience, which is also the case with Oculus. However, is there an appropriate quality behind this title? That is exactly what we will try to find out.

The story of the film Oculus alternates between events from the past and the present, related to members of the Russell family. More precisely, events from the past show the entire Russell family, while the current ones are focused only on its only two remaining members, Kylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites). Eleven years before the time that the present represents in the film, the head of the Russell family, Alan (Rory Cochrane), brings a mysterious mirror into the house to decorate his office. From that moment on, strange things begin to happen in their house, and the life of this family suddenly begins to go downhill, in order to end with the tragic outcome of the deaths of their spouses Mary (Katee Sackhoff) and Alan.

Their son Tim spends the next decade in a psychiatric facility where he is assured that no supernatural phenomena have occurred in his home, while his sister Kylie studies the history of mirrors to be ready to face him after eleven years, as well as the truth about his death. parents. Immediately after Tim’s release from the hospital, Kylie takes him to their family home to clear his past once and for all. Under strictly controlled conditions, it seems that Kylie did everything so that nothing tragic would happen this time when she met the “demon” mirror again. However, will that be enough?

In the case of Oculus, there is a certain thematic similarity with Room 1408 and The Number 23. This similarity applies to some extent to the original idea, but far more to the theme of losing touch with reality, through abundant hallucinations, as one of the dominant elements. of all these accomplishments. The actor of the story cannot believe in himself either, and that is the basic mechanism that drives what we call the horror element in these films. In the case of the film Oculus, this idea is even simpler or, more precisely, poorer in relation to the mentioned films, but unfortunately not better. Namely, in some cases, simplicity is often equated with quality, which is not the case with the film Oculus.

However, it must be admitted that the entire film is permeated by relatively effective horror, which is of course a subjective experience for every viewer, but certainly an important item when it comes to horror. However, everything that can be said about the story of this project in a very efficient way could fit in far less time than in the feature film format, so this story could potentially turn out to be a great episode of The Twilight Zone series. This conclusion also makes sense if we consider that the film is based on the short film Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan, also directed by Mike Flanagan, who is also responsible for directing Oculus.

Inveterate horror fans are literally used to watching low-budget achievements considering the state of the offer in this genre, and it can be said that the fans of this genre are perhaps the most flexible in terms of their criteria for the quality of horror films. A horror fan will often consciously embark on watching a performance of poorer quality just to satisfy his thirst for a dose of this film genre, already knowing in advance what to expect, and on that occasion there are no disappointments, but occasionally pleasant surprises. As for our experience when it comes to the Oculus film, let’s say we remained indifferent. So, neither disappointed, nor overly enthusiastic, although the topic with which this achievement was entertained is perhaps the most attractive when it comes to the genre of “fear and horror”.

Whether the film Oculus is awesome is individual and it is difficult to meet everyone’s criteria in that regard, as in the end, and when the criteria of any other genre are in question. To some extent, it was creepy to us on certain points, so it can be said that we will end this text with a recommendation, but we assume that it will not be crucial in accordance with what has been said before about horror fans, unless you belong to those who only sometimes they also pay attention to this genre.