Friday, April 25, 2014

See What You Don't Want to See

Well, they don't sell mirrors like these at Ikea, that's for sure.  

I admit that I don't really know what is real or fake in Oculus, the latest horror kickoff from the producers of Insidious and Paranormal Activity.  This horror tale regards a large, Gothic mirror and the brother and sister who try to prove that it is indeed possessed by a demonic entity.  I expected a more straight-up horror film with things jumping out at me.  

There are really two movies here.  Half of it takes place in the present, but there are a large amount of flashbacks that are intertwined into the story.  Tim (Brandon Thwaites) is discharged from a psychiatric ward 10 years after his parents' deaths.  His sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) has been obsessively researching the whereabouts of the giant mirror that hanged in their father's office.  She tracks down the mirror at an auction house, and has the mirror delivered to their childhood home.  Kaylie has set up surveillance cameras to document the activity, and she intends to destroy the mirror at the end of the night. 

Kaylie and Tim's family acquired the mirror when they first started decorating their home.  The ostentatious piece looms in their father Alan's office, and soon both he and his wife Marie are plagued with hallucinations.  She sees her body decaying while he is seduced by a mysterious woman with mirrored eyes.  Their father becomes neglectful, and young Kaylie and Tim are forced to fend for themselves.  Alan becomes verbally abusive, and they become terrified of their mother.

As the night progresses, we go back and forth between the past and present.  There are even shots of both Tim and Kaylie entering a room, but their younger selves finish the scene.  It's surprisingly involving.  Oculus works as a family drama as well as a sometimes gory horror movie.  There isn't much jumping out at you (not a bad thing), and it remains particularly moody and claustrophobic.  

If they sold that mirror at Ikea, I'd be tempted to buy it.  You know, just to see what happens.  

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