Oculus (2013) [REVIEW] [SXSW ’14]

oculus movie poster 2013

I don’t think I’ve ever once referred to this movie by its correct name. Whether it be “cockulus” or “ockulong”, I refuse to say this stupid title correctly. Hey, that’s what you get when a movie is called “Oculus“. And you know what? I still don’t even know what the fuck “oculus” means. I didn’t know much about Oculus going into it, other than people at SXSW really seemed to enjoy it. Some people were even going back to see it a second time! Whoa! You guys love this movie! When I sat down to watch the film and one of the opening logos I saw was the movie division of the WWE and, considering their track record, I knew I was fucked. And ya know what? I was. I got fucked by a big cockulus.

oculus movie katie sackhoff

OMG your eyes are weird! SPOOOOOKY!

Now that he’s served his time in a mental institution, Tim (Brenton Thwaites) is lucky that his sister Kailey (Karen Gillan) is happy to take care of him in this period of adjustment. Tim was in this facility because when he was younger, he was convicted of murdering his father. One reason Kailey is so supportive of Tim is because she knows the truth of what happened to their parents. Ya see, there was this spooky mirror that drove their parents insane! Oh no! Kailey is trying to prove that not only does this mirror have a spooky history of causing everyone who has owned it to die a violent death, but that this mirror also has self-defense mechanisms. Every time someone tries to destroy it, they fail. It’s mostly due to the mirror making people go crazy and miss it when they try to hit it with golf clubs and shit, but it’s just a mirror that can’t be destroyed. I don’t know, stupid “haunted” bullshit demons show up and there are hallucinations and flashbacks that unravel what really went on when Tim and Kailey were kids. Guess what? SPOOKY DEMONS WERE INVOLVED! HOLY COW!

oculus movie lights lantern

I mean, I guess this looks kind of cool? I guess?

It feels weird to think that I have completely missed the boat on Oculus. Tons of people loved it! Me? Hell no! The whole tone of the movie felt like a nu-metal version of a good haunted house movie where the filmmakers decided to try to do things that looked “cool” because they had seen something similar in other haunted house movies. Some of the performances were tolerable but none of the characters were interesting. There’s a scene that goes over every person who has died from owning the mirror yet there was never any explanation as to why this mirror caused people to die in the first place. I suppose some people could enjoy that mystery of the unknown, but I felt like it was a cop-out. “How about instead of justifying these demons…WE DON’T! SPOOOOKY!” Have I mentioned how dumb the ghosts or whatever looked? They looked like they walked out of an Aphex Twin video…from 15 years ago. I guess there were a couple of successful jump scares and there were a few scenes where portable lanterns lit the house that I thought looked pretty cool, but there really just wasn’t enough story or interesting enough characters to make me invested in the superficial hauntings.

Wolfman Moon Scale

one quarter moon


4 responses to “Oculus (2013) [REVIEW] [SXSW ’14]

  1. This is one piss poor review. Damn, you’re the only person out of the 20+ reviews I’ve read that didn’t like it. Must not be a big horror fan 👊

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