As a longtime horror lover, OCULUS didn’t appeal to me when I saw the trailer. I actually hadn’t given it much thought beyond my typical, “Huh… might be good.”
If you’re like me, and you don’t know what the hell oculus means, the internet says it’s “a round or eye like opening or design, in particular.” Ooohh… I get it. The mirror. That’s… okay. I get it now. So the mirror is the titular Oculus. Which makes way more sense after googling the definition. I just thought it was a really cool name.
OCULUS is the story that follows the gruesome demise of a mother. Her young children are left to fend for themselves against their creep-o father. Fast-forward several years and Tim (Brenton Thwaites), is being released from a mental facility into the care of his sister Kaylie (Doctor Who heart-throb Karen Gillan). Kaylie and her brother don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on the events that unfolded so tragically during their youth.
Kaylie enlists her brother to help her do what they promised to do all of those years ago: destroy the OCULUS. Or, mirror.
The movie skips between present and past. Just be aware of that, because I wasn’t clued in at first and I was really confused. The mirror that plagues our brother and sister duo’s existence is called the Lasser Glass. Kaylie details — in an endearing psychotic way — the life the Lasser Glass has seen.
I was pretty stoked when she mentioned Lake Geneva, WI because I used to live there, but that’s neither here nor there.
The mirror has been linked to some seriously malevolent goings on. All of the previous owners are dead. And none of them died peacefully in their sleep, if you catch my meaning.
The Lasser Glass alters reality, letting you see only what it wants you to see. It plays on your fears and insecurities, leaving you unaware of what’s real and what isn’t. Kaylie has a carefully detailed plan — and a yacht anchor — in place so they can kill the mirror once and for all.
This movie reminds me of a few others, but mostly GRAVE ENCOUNTERS (2011). In that film, a group of amateur filmmakers break into an abandoned mental facility only to find that they can’t leave. They become prisoners of time and place. OCULUS has kind of the same idea. One can’t determine what’s fact and what is fiction and the confusion can drive a person mad.
Most notable in this film were the actors who play the young brother and sister. Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan brought to life the staggering fear a child feels when they can’t trust the two people in the world who are supposed to protect them.
This one is on Netflix now and I highly recommend you use your oculi — get it? — and check it out.