The idea of another “evil mirror” movie didn’t sound very appetizing, but something about Oculus seemed like it might have some potential to surprise, and to a certain extent, it did.
Oculus tells the tale of siblings trying to prove, or disprove, whether or not an antique mirror with a sordid history, had anything to do with the deaths of their parents 11 years earlier. One of the siblings, Tim, who had just been released from a psychiatric hospital, was thought to be the one to blame for the demise of their parents; his sister is hell bent on trying to prove that indeed, this mirror is to blame, despite her brother’s wishes to move on and start life anew. Some of the motivation for these characters (the sister in particular), is quite dubious and laughable; especially the way in which the haunted mirror is retrieved, in a less than realistic auction scene.
Oculus really implements flashback storytelling well, while seamlessly working it into the present time. Katee Sackhoff stood out in the mother role, while the rest of the cast was solid, too; especially the child actors.
I was pretty impressed that in what is mostly a confined setting, Director Mike Flanagan manages to conjure up some creative scares, though not offering up too much new in terms of the ghosts on display. The climax is well executed, even if what happens is not a total shock.
This flick slightly surpassed my expectations of what it would be, and is not a bad rental if you got the time. The obvious comparisons get made between this and Alexendre Aja’s Mirrors; I personally remember enjoying Mirrors more, as it’s scares were more effective. Oculus, however, is a much different film anyway, once you look past the mirror thing.