Movie Review: Oculus (2014)

Oculus, Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites

Let’s just put it out there: mirrors are creepy.  They show a you that’s not quite you.  They clearly lie about how awesome we all look.  Then if you’ve ever been in a room where a mirror looks at another mirror….if you watch it too long it’s like falling into an Escher-esque madness hole.  I’m not a fan.  So, creepy movie about an object I already find creepy…I’m predisposed to be wigged out.

Oculus, Katee Sackhoff

The movie takes place on two timelines: in the present with Karen Gillan (soon to be in Guardians of the Galaxy) and Brenton Thwaites (bet you he’s been spelling that out over the phone his whole life) trying to prove the paranomal power of a mirror they believe responsible for the deaths of their parents (Katee Sackhoff and a guy who was not Katee Sackhoff), whose decline we see in the other timeline.

I’m not sure why this didn’t quite work for me.  I was set up to be creeped out, but I was bored most of the film.  I will say, the editor of the film is a genius because any suspense or momentum the story had was due to his deft intercuttings of the two timelines.

It’s odd to see Sackhoff in a matronly role because I’m used to her getting drunk and punching people…in space.  They don’t give her a whole lot to do.  The majority of the time is spent with Gillan and Thwaites and while they’re not bad (Gillan talks reeeeeeeeally fast), they don’t do anything to elevate a pedestrian horror/suspense script.

If you’re a fan of the genre, try it as a rental because it’s not bad, it just wasn’t notable, but otherwise go see Cap again.

Karen Gillan, Oculus

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