Oculus is one of those films that barely stayed in theatres long enough to have a shot at viewing. A film I was mildly interested in, I noticed it came to Netflix shortly after it had been released. Now, in typical Netflix fashion, that almost assuredly means it wasn't good. Case in point:
Then again, you can't get much better than the original.
That is not the case with Oculus.
Ever since I was a wee lass, I loved to make up stories and write about what I loved. My first "book" was in first grade. It was about a T-Rex who had no friends because all he did was eat them. I know...morbid for a six-year-old. Anyway, when I was a freshman in high school, I started writing a novel about a haunted mirror. Before I go any further, no it did not get published nor was it scripted into this film. I mention it because that story I wrote was what drew me toward Oculus.
IMDB's synopsis of the film is as follows: "A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon."
Which does nothing for the actual plot. There's far more to it. A family is destroyed, two parents murdered, a child blamed. And when the son/brother is released from the asylum at twenty-one, he learns of his sister's plan to destroy the mirror.
Going in, the viewer sees this as a sort of Amityville-esque. It seems as though the father was driven to madness and murder because of a possessed item. In this case, an antique mirror. However, it soon unfolds that there is much more to the story.
During an entire night in their old house with the offending mirror, the brother and sister attempt to film any events that will transpire. The first of which was the two arguing over a dog. Sister wishes to sacrifice it in order for the mirror to come alive. But when brother releases the dog thinking all of it is ridiculous, they fight in the kitchen. Only when they return to the original room to find the cameras facing each other with dead plants skewed around do they decide to review the tapes. One of the best scenes, in my opinion, because the tape shows the two arguing as they were before, but not in the kitchen. No, they watch themselves set up the cameras the way they were found. Neither of them had recollection of doing this.
Among other cringe-worthy moments such as the lead actress biting into a glass light bulb and late daddy dearest ripping off a fingernail, the film is beautifully done with enough suspense and "wtf moments" to keep viewers entertained and coming back for more. The acting is superb and there's no knowing what comes next.
So, tell me...what did you think?