Director: Mike Flanagan
This movie originally made itself known to me with quite a few strong reviews online and a bit of a buzz surrounding its relatively new to the genre director, Mike Flanagan. With such an unknown new title causing such a stir, I was very eager to see for myself if Oculus would deliver.
BASIC PLOT: A sister is reunited with her brother after many years apart due to a dark family past. Obsessed with the notion that an old antique mirror hiding supernatural forces is to blame for the family's bloodstained history, she sets about trying to prove the mirror is indeed cursed and finally destroy it. But she will need some help...
REVIEW: Straight off the bat, I found this movie an absolute joy to watch. The cinematography and camerawork are excellent, submerging most of the scenes in a dark, sepia-green, almost Fincher-esque finish that churns the viewers stomach throughout. Right from the get go, you can feel something is not quite right through the visuals and shadowy lighting. This feeling is intensified as the story progresses, expertly preying upon the viewers sense of unease as things unfold.
The story is a classic. Not too many horror titles come to mind when I think of old mirrors, which is surprising as there can be something uniquely unnerving and almost other worldly about a reflection, especially in this mirror. The character development between the family is brilliantly played out, with a narrative taking place both in the past when the sister & brother were just kids and in modern day after so such has happened. This way the audience catches a glimpse into the creepy occurrences that transpired all those years ago in the family home while also following the siblings in present day and the choices they are now faced with.
The acting is really first rate all round, Karen Gillan & Brenton Thwaites do a stirling job as the siblings (even if the latter does seem a tad on the bland emotionless side at times, but I think that is also half down to the character himself after he has been through so much to the point where he is now numb). Katie Sackoff delivers a phenomenal performance as the mother, her slow descent as she deals with her situation is palpable and adds weight and reality to the tale. Rory Cochrane also deserves top credit for his role as the Dad of the family, sucking the audience in for the ride as his family, his life and even his mind start to unravel around him.
I also feel I need to strongly compliment director Mike Flanagan for delivering a fresh new and exciting approach to the horror genre. He has managed to perfectly balance a strong gripping story with constant scares and thrills to cater for all. The movie feels like a big step forward, nodding to the moody atmospheric horror titles of old while also acknowledging it's place in the twenty first century. The storyline even goes as far as including numerous modern high tech technologies and gadgets and yet it never once crosses the line into cheesy or unrealistic. I am looking forward to more gems from this flourishing new director.
VERDICT: A fantastic find. A well thought out and portrayed horror tale containing enough tense armchair gripping moments and downright nasty scares to make you pause before you next glance in the mirror! (9/10)
Action / Horror / Mystery
Action / Horror / Mystery
The twenty-one-year-old Timothy "Tim" Allen Russell is discharged from a mental institution by his psychiatric Dr. Shawn Graham completely healed from a childhood trauma where his father purportedly tortured and killed his mother before being killed himself by Tim. His sister Kaylie welcomes him in the parking area and brings him home. Then she tells that they need to destroy an ancient mirror that she has found through working at an auction house. She then steals the mirror and the reluctant Tim follows his sister and has fragmented recollections from their childhood, going back to when his father Alan buys a mirror for the home office of their new family home. Kaylie and Tim see a woman with their father in his office and the behaviors of Alan and Marie change, ending in a family tragedy. Kaylie blames the mirror and now she wants to destroy it with Tim. Will they succeed?
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July 23, 2014 at 12:39 PM