Oculus is a supernatural thriller with style and ambition, but which ultimately covers no new ground. Whatever is here, we feel as though we have seen it before.
The villain of this story is not a person but an antique mirror with a strange history. It seems that past owners of the mirror have met with grisly fates. Notwithstanding this, the mirror winds up at an auction where it is sold at a significant price. The auctioneer points out that there is a crack in the mirror. Where did the crack come from? We will find out later.
The protagonists of this film are two siblings, Tim and Kaylie Russell. As it turns out, the mirror had been present in their childhood home over a decade earlier, back when Tim and Kaylie were just small fries, and like the other unfortunate owners of the mirror, their parents suffered a violent demise. As a result of these tragic events, Tim had been placed in a mental hospital. But he is older now – 21., and he has just been released.
Of course the last thing that Tim needs at this point is another encounter with the wicked mirror, but Kaylie has big plans. She has not only obtained possession of the mirror, but has also returned it to their childhood home. She is going to bring Tim there so that they can investigate together the power that this mirror wields. Does anybody think this is a good idea?
Kaylie believes that she is well prepared for this endeavor. She has set up all kinds of cameras and recording equipment. She has even rigged a heavy boat anchor from the ceiling, which is designed to swing down and smash the mirror into pieces if all else fails. Curiously, the anchor is intended as a weapon of last resort rather than first.
What follows is a series of somewhat shocking episodes and disturbing images, all interspersed with flashbacks from the past, but the jolts are delivered in such predictable fashion that seasoned aficionados of this genre will likely see them coming. Some might even experience boredom and struggle to stay awake.
If there is any redeeming quality to this film, it has to be Karen Gillan, the actor who plays the adult Kaylie. There is something about her that makes you want to watch the film whenever she is on screen. But in the end, that’s not enough.
I award this film 2 stars out of 5 .