Plot: A brother and sister try to prove a mirror is evil force that killed their parents and destroy it.
Review: Oculus is a movie that starts off as a fresh fun take on the traditional haunted house (or in this case mirror) genre. It subverts a lot of the rules, winks at the other films, while still keeping a creepy tone and an alright mystery running through. The first part of the story involves a brother that has been released from an insane asylum after he murdered his dad for murdering his mom. In the ten years since, the brother has convinced himself what happened wasn’t the work of a haunted mirror (which isn’t as dumb as it sounds in the movie.) When he’s released his sister, still believing in the mirror, tries to get him to help her destroy it.
This is the best part of the movie as the brother tries to convince himself and her that they were just imagining things while his sister tries to show him how evil it is. She also has come prepared with cameras, scheduled phone calls, extra light bulbs, and water/food so to not fall for any of the mirror’s tricks. This part plays with a lot of tropes of these movies and it’s a lot of fun.
The problem is there is so much happening in this movie (as the film is also cutting between past and presents) that it has little time to create characters and once the fun of the tropes and is it/isn’t it evil part we are only left with bland stand ins that don’t really make you care. I mean after a while I realized that my mind started to wander and by the end I just didn’t care.
The film just needed a bit to create two interesting characters and it could have been a great addition to the horror genre. But since it doesn’t it’s half a movie.
Trivia: Based on a short film.