genre: mystery, horror
Sometimes you just have to be real and call things out for what they are and not what they are made out to be. Oculus is one of those things. I was very willing to accept and overlook the majority of flaws if the film at least offered something worth my while. Obviously it failed to do so.
The premise itself had a lot of potential to deliver horror goodness and more. Instead it's one pretentious event after another. For at least twenty minutes I was intrigued only to be let down by the poor imagination of director Mike Flanagan. Which is astonishing since he was on a roll in Ouija: Origin of Evil. Oculus simply is lacking those elements that makes films like these fun. There is nothing and I mean absolutely nothing that makes it stand out. In fact the film is quite boring even with the supposedly tense and creepy scenes. But the majority of these scenes are build up so poorly that by the time you are prepared for the worst you get nothing in return for your patience.
I noticed Karen Gillian and I was happy to see a well known companion of the Doctor Who universe appear in something else. She was adequate but nothing more than that. Not that she could have changed my viewing experience even if she had tried. For that a lot of elements especially the direction should have been improved. The worst offense though is the fact that Oculus is not scary. Even if I could be bothered by all the symbolism thrown at you it still would end up as a boring and lazy affair. None of the film is creepy or contains dread. The secret glass mirror lends itself for an ever present eeriness and nothing is done with this. I don't care how accomplished you are as a director or film maker. If you fail to bank on this you have done a terrible job.
Trust me I tried to be a trooper and go along with what this movie was trying to do. Except it never delivers on what it is supposed to. Real shame if you ask me.