Oculus

Oculus

Director: Mike Flanagan

Cast: Mike Flanagan, Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane

     
 

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Two siblings haunted by a childhood tragedy learn that the source of their horror is a mysterious mirror with a dark history. Tim (Brenton Thwaites) and Kaylie (Karen Gillan) were merely teenagers when both of their parents were brutally butchered. Convicted of the killings and sentenced to protectiveSee more details below

Overview

Two siblings haunted by a childhood tragedy learn that the source of their horror is a mysterious mirror with a dark history. Tim (Brenton Thwaites) and Kaylie (Karen Gillan) were merely teenagers when both of their parents were brutally butchered. Convicted of the killings and sentenced to protective custody, Tim serves his time while Kaylie drifts into a deep despair. Years later, a newly free Tim does his best to lay the past to rest. Meanwhile, Kaylie is certain that her brother was innocent all along, and that the antique mirror their parents used to own holds the answer to her darkest questions. Upon locating the long-lost looking glass, Kaylie's deepest fears are confirmed -- a menacing force inhabits that mirror, and it has plagued every owner who has come into possession of it. Now, as curious Kaylie reacquires the mirror, the nightmarish cycle of horror returns with a vengeance.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
These days, with precious few exceptions, it seems that "originality" and "horror" have become mutually exclusive terms. And while some could argue that new ideas don't exactly flourish in a genre in which most viewers simply want a good old-fashioned scare, director Mike Flanagan and his screenwriting partner Jeff Howard prove that breathing new life into old ideas is no simple task, either, in Oculus: This supernatural spellbinder succeeds at disorienting the viewer with a cleverly structured screenplay, but it never quite manages to frighten despite some solid tension and eerie imagery. Tim (Brenton Thwaites) and Kaylie (Karen Gillan) were only teenagers when their mother was tortured and murdered and their father was shot to death. Convicted of the killings and sentenced to protective custody, Tim serves his time while Kaylie searches tirelessly for the Lasser Glass -- a mysterious antique mirror she believes drove their father to madness. Years later, a newly free Tim is determined to lay the past to rest. But Kaylie is certain that her brother was innocent all along, and that by destroying the Lasser Glass, she can break its diabolical spell. Upon locating the long-lost mirror, Kaylie's deepest fears are confirmed -- a menacing force inhabits the object, and it has plagued every owner who came into possession of it. Now, after reacquiring the mirror, Kaylie calls on her brother to uphold the childhood promise he made to destroy it when the time was right. But the Lasser Glass is ready for them, and it won't be broken without a fight. When it comes to horror, stories of cursed items and family tragedies are as common as the cat in the cupboard. One needn't dig any deeper than the glut of Amityville sequels for proof of that. And in the right hands, even a familiar story, like the one recently seen in The Conjuring, can keep moviegoers hopping in their seats. For all of the shouting that takes place in the first half of Oculus, one might be tempted to dub it "The Bickering" while the drama is loudly doled out by undercooked characters (note to screenwriters: nail biting is more a bad habit than a character trait). But as the plot deepens and the action alternates more frequently between the past and the present, Flanagan and Howard begin to reveal their true talents. Unfortunately, those talents don't lie in their ability to frighten us so much as their skill at inventively merging two fairly pedestrian ghost stories. It's their adeptness at weaving the past and present into a single thread that distinguishes Oculus from the plethora of by-the-numbers haunted-house thrillers, since their fumbling attempts at creating any level of psychological duplicity are an abject failure (and one of the film's most glaring shortcomings). Given what we witness in the opening scenes, there's never any question regarding the origins of the family's nightmare; as a result, the repeated attempts to hint that all of this may simply be in Kaylie's head do little but waste time. For that reason, nobody would blame you for feeling like you've wasted yours when the film reaches its final act. But should you give up just then, you'll be missing most of the fun as the Lasser Glass subjects its would-be destroyers to a series of psychologically destructive mind games. Here, like a mirror, the scenes set in the present begin to reflect the scenes from the past, with Flanagan and Howard plunging us headlong into a world of malevolent mischief where -- as suggested in the picture's tagline -- we can never be quite certain that what we're witnessing is the truth. A few of the tricks presented in this section of the movie are indeed clever (and competently executed), but by then, Oculus already feels like an effective short film that's been compromised by the desire to make it a feature, robbing the original story of most of its mystery and power.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/05/2014
UPC:
0024543969105
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
4,315

Special Features

Deleted scenes with optional commentary; Inside the mirror: creating Oculus; Original 32-minute Oculus short film with optional commentary; Full-length feature commentary

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Karen Gillan Actor,Kaylie Russell
Brenton Thwaites Actor,Tim Russell
Rory Cochrane Actor,Alan Russell
Katee Sackhoff Actor,Marie Russell
James Lafferty Michael Dumont,Actor
Annalise Basso Young Kaylie
Garrett Ryan Young Tim
Miguel Sandoval Dr. Shawn Graham
Kate Siegel Marisol Chavez
Scott Graham Warren
Michael Fourticq St. Aidan Security Guard
Katie Parker Phone Store Clerk
Justin Gordon Mark (Supervisor)
Bob Gebert Neighbor
Brett Luciana Murray Officer 1
Zak Jeffries Officer 2
Courtney Bell Auctioneer
Elisa Victoria Skype Worker
Dave Levine Robert Clancy
Stephanie Minter Virginia Lasser
Lesa Johnson Mary O'Connor
Allison Boyd Beatrice O'Connor
James Flanagan Tobin Capp
Alexandra Beer Marcia Walker
Marc Evans Oliver Jeffries
Toni White Alice Carden

Technical Credits
Mike Flanagan Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Russell Barnes Production Designer
Jason Blum Executive Producer
Elizabeth Boller Art Director
Morgan Peter Brown Associate Producer
David Allen Cluck Asst. Director
Marc D. Evans Producer
Lynn Falconer Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Fimognari Cinematographer
Stephen Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Justin Gordon Associate Producer
Jim Hawkins Sound Mixer
Jeff Howard Screenwriter
Mike Ilitch Executive Producer
Bill Johnson Makeup Special Effects
Dale Johnson Executive Producer
Ryan Kavanaugh Executive Producer
Michael Koff Sound Mixer
Anil Kurian Executive Producer
Michael J. Luisi Executive Producer
Kate Lumpkin Production Manager
D. Scott Lumpkin Executive Producer
Trevor Macy Producer
Julie May Executive Producer
Anne McCarthy Casting
Pants McFadden Asst. Director
Glenn P. Murray Executive Producer
David Nash Special Effects
Newton Brothers Score Composer
Jason Poh Associate Producer
Andy Ross Musical Direction/Supervision
Kellie Roy Casting
Peter Schlessel Executive Producer
Dub Stage Sound/Sound Designer
Tucker Tooley Executive Producer
Joe Wicker Associate Producer

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