Oculus is written and directed by Mike Flanagan (Absentia, Ghosts Of Hamilton Street) and bears his trademark tension building and atmosphere from start to finish.
Oculus tells the story of the Lasser Glass, a mirror of unknown origins which has been bought and sold into different homes numerous times over the course of several centuries.
Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites – Maleficent, The Giver) has just been released from protective custody, where he has been for ten years after being convicted of the murder of his parents. His sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan – Not Another Happy Ending, Doctor Who) never believed he was guilty, she was there and remains convinced that the antique mirror which was hung in her father’s study was somehow to blame.
The siblings made a promise to each other that fateful night that one day when they were big and strong they would find the mirror and destroy it. But Tim has been receiving therapy for so long that his memories are faded, and the doctors have helped him to rationalize everything which occurred.
Kaylie has managed to land herself a job with an auction house, through which she locates the Lasser Glass and manages to get it into their old house, where the murders took place. She takes Tim there and shows him her elaborate system of fail safes which she has put in place, both to ensure their safety and to draw out the entity she believes resides within the mirror and destroy it once and for all.
However, once in the house, things really start to heat up as they begin to remember what happened. They have visions of their father Alan (Rory Cochrane – A Scanner Darkly, Argo) and their mother Marie (Katee Sackhoff – Battlestar Galactica, Riddick) as their relationship deteriorates and both Kaylie and Tim begin to have disturbing visions.
Will they be strong enough to prevent their childhood nightmare from happening all over again?
This is suspense building at it’s finest. There are the occasional shock moments, but they are not used as a crutch and they are not what you expect. The story doesn’t go anywhere near where you think it will and the way they cut in the old events in the house with the new is very effective.
The acting is excellent, with great performances from Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories, Standing Up) as young Kaylie and Garrett Ryan (Insidious: Chapter 2) as young Tim.
An excellent horror film, sufficiently disturbing and ideal to add to your collection, just in time for Halloween – watch with the lights off!
Oculus is available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray from 20th Oct 2014