I woke up today feeling like watching a horror film and after my great experience today I feel as if I'm gonna start a bit of a horror binge, the film that has started it is Oculus which I decided to watch because of its interesting premise and its positive reviews. Oculus tells two stories that parallel each other with the first happening in the early 2000's where a family is torn apart by supernatural mirror and the other about 10 years later when the two children in the family return to the house to record evidence of the mirror's supernatural nature and destroy it once and for all. Oculus stars Karen Gillan, Katee Sackhoff, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan.
There are lots of positives in this film which include: fantastic story, phenomenal story progression, intrigue is built well, tension is built, the film is really creepy with cool lore. To expand, the plot of this film is really well-crafted making two coherent stories that constantly weave in and out of each other, also trying to work out if what you are watching is actually real and its intentionally ambiguous ending made the film constantly filled with intrigue. Generally I don't like stories that parallel in films (Spy Game) as it normally kills the tension in the scenes in the past and the present stories are normally a vehicle for the past stories to be told; in this film where it is true that tension is lost from the scenes in the past there is still a lot of tension in the present day scenes and the present story doesn't reveal what happened in the past story, so there is a lot of intrigue in both. The past story still works because of its tone and there is real dread that is felt in some scenes and all the stories of previous encounters with the mirror are extremely creepy and the stories that this film follows hold up to that standard. I seem to find that the best horror is horror which gets its scares through creepy imagery and great storytelling and while this film does have some jump scares, it has enough creepy imagery to make it a great horror experience.
I can really only find one negative to this film (apart from the tension being killed in the past story) which is the acting. The acting in this film is the standard for horror films not bad but not great, no one's performance in this film stands out (good or bad).
Overall I absolutely loved Oculus because of its interesting and well-crafted narrative and actually being scary, so taking everything I have said into consideration I rate this film: