Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Karen Gillan, Brendon Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane
Age Rating: 15/R
Running Time: 104 minutes
It is not often you will catch me saying “Let’s sit down and watch a horror film” on a Saturday night, but when the simple idea of a drinking game was tabled, suddenly the idea sounded more entertaining. With rum, pimms and shots at the ready, the women (the horror lovers of the four of us) were now equally as worried about the film as my dad and I were…
Director Mike Flannagan brings us the story of Kaylie, a young woman attempting to avenge the death of her parents and the conviction of her brother, Tim, who was wrongly accused of murdering their father, by proving that the events of eleven years ago were manipulated by a supernatural force which lives in a historic mirror.
Usually, it is these farfetched plots and unconvincing protagonists that seem to put me off a horror film (nothing to do with me being an absolute wuss of course!), but OCULUS starring Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians Of The Galaxy), produces a tense and entertaining 104 minute experience, with the story of the father Alan (Rory Cochrane) drawing parallels with the likes of Jack Nicholson’s classic character Jack Torrance in THE SHINING.
Due to Tim (Brendon Thwaites) leaving a mental institution at the beginning of this film, a great thing about it, is how it keeps you guessing throughout who is actually going insane, who the supernatural force is playing tricks on and what is actually real in the film.
What impressed me the most about OCULUS was how intelligently it was shot. The switch from the present day to eleven years prior was created by the characters crossing over with their past or future selves throughout. This gave the film such a great flow to it, alleviating the need to create flashbacks in a more traditional way, repeatedly.
The only major criticism I have of the film is that from the moment Kaylie had set up her father’s old office with cameras and controls all around it, you could pretty much guess the ending. However, other than that, it was a decent horror film which kept me entertained and tense throughout.
A count of only two shots consumed means that it did not make me jump as much as I was expecting, but its scare factor went deeper than trying to make you jump out of your seat, and for that I have to be thankful.
Recommendation: A good horror film which does not allow itself to become too farfetched and silly. Currently on Sky Movies/On Demand – Recommended way to watch it unless you are a very big horror fan.