Oculus -2013 (Review)

Finally got to see this last night, after being very interested in the concept and the IMDB rating which was quite high for horror but has since lowered to a 6.6 (still higher than most horrors anyway!) This film along with The Babadook, i really want to see the latter and I’m hoping to pin down and watch, and i will do a review (if its worth it..) Anyway, this film i felt was a breath of fresh air in terms of plot structure and typical sock characters commonly fond in the horror genre. We do get the classic nuclear family haunted by a supernatural force, however along side this we get see the children when their older wanting to get revenge but at the same time coming to terms with their horrific past. A surprising structure and not just a long flashback to explain things, in the end we see how it mirrors the main narrative, which gives for a pleasant ending (maybe not the right word, haha) We also see a good twist to the typical gender roles in horror, yes there is a strong female but she’s headstrong from the outset, much more than her male brother who is very reluctant. I think the female lead was complex and not just one dimensional; we saw her vulnerable as well as strong willed without being sexualised in any way (refreshing!)

However while I’ve said a lot of praise there are some issues with this film that restricts it from being a really great horror film! something i feel it had the potential to. While the character are refreshing they weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been in this film, mostly the brother who had one face throughout, he had a back story of being committed but it wasn’t really ventured into and seems as if he walked off the street! Additionally the main Mcguffin THE MIRROR seems so interesting but is given no back story besides it’s many murders. After watching the movie i was left with my questions that having being left unanswered, simply left a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t want to be spoon fed, but at least drop something ambiguous for me to think about, instead of ignoring the obvious mystery of the film! Basically on a whole i felt the film could have explored more of the present narrative, instead of lingering on the predictable past that is in way reminiscent in the typical ‘haunted family’

In the end, however, I’m happy to have seen the film. It was refreshing and i would recommend it to anyone whose passionate about horror getting back on track and being a bit more serious, to check this out. Although some may complain about the plan the siblings have to defeat the mirror which i think has a predictable outcome, however i have to admit the ending did surprise me (trying not to give it away)


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