Friday, October 31, 2014

Oculus (2013)

It's luck of the draw whenever you rent a horror movie knowing only the title and box cover art, but as fortune would have it I happened to enjoy this one.  It crosses paths with psychological thriller in terms of genre, and this combination is pulled off well.

It's about a brother and sister who revisit a haunting mirror from their childhood which might be the domain of an unspeakable demon or evil force. An empirical study sets the well-educated sister and recently emancipated brother on a collision course with the paranormal and their own pasts which fatefully turned the course of life for their once cookie-cutter family. James Lafferty has a minor role which I think will always strike me as out of place to see the actor who played Tree Hill jock/prep Nathan Scott in a horror movie or cast as a mass-shooter (like in S. Darko, 2009).

The characters must revisit their past to control their future, and a carefully controlled study is set to yield conclusive, indisputable evidence that the mirror holds an evil or at least out of this world power.  The simultaneously experienced brother/sister flashbacks/replayed memory loops/altered reality moments play out expertly.  They're not a shitty revelation of the original haunting like in most scary movies but truly an augmented reality manifesting itself in the minds of our dauntless protagonists in real time.  Masterfully, I might add.  The less you know ahead of time the better, but this one is worth checking out.

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