Oculus was a roller coaster ride moving so fast you never really knew where you were. Considering the premise, it was one part Insidious and one part Paranormal Activity. It was good, but there were a few offending parts of the movie that were difficult to overlook. I made a complete list of horror movie offenses here called Top 10 Annoying Things Horror Movies Should Stop Doing.
The No-Spoilers Review (Safe)
Oculus is about a hanging glass mirror that is possessed and kills its owners. The mirror has a long murderous history. Each owner was mysteriously murdered or committed suicide under unusual circumstances. The current owner of the mirror is the main character, the daughter of two parents that were previously murdered during circumstances surrounding the haunted mirror. The daughter’s plan is to capture the unusual events on camera and then have the mirror destroyed, thus renewing the community’s faith in her family and exposing it’s wrongdoings to the world.
The fast-moving movie is full of suspense and offers a fair share of possessed ghost-like monsters. The video quality is excellent and the overall story flows really smoothly.
The inconsistencies in the movie require spoilers, so I’m going to discuss that below.
****** Spoilers Below *********
1. Why did the sister involve the brother?
The brother just got out of a psych ward – how was it a good idea to include him in her plan to prove the mirror was the reason for their parents death? He was just emotionally cleansed of all of his childhood horrors, and this plan would do nothing more than bring them all screaming back. Considering his tainted history with this mirror, it would probably be best to have chosen someone else. Why not hire a security person or a bring along a few close friends. Hell, even another family member would have been better.
In my opinion, this part of the movie was poorly thought out.
2. Why didn’t they stick to plan?
She had a decent plan. It was pretty well thought out, but they deviated from the plan fairly quickly. They didn’t stay in the room together, she smashed one of the important alarm clocks and she didn’t even attempt to continue photo-documenting the events as they happened.
When characters in scary movies don’t stick to their plan, I get somewhat frustrated. This leads me to my next point…
3. From smart to dumb.
When she first started her plan, she covered most, if not all, of her bases. She had the alarm clocks set, plants, food, water, two cameras with separate power sources and even a last-resort device to destroy the mirror. Unfortunately, she seemed to have forgotten somewhere along the way that the evil mirror was in fact evil. We know that, because she was actually hugging her supposed mother in the mirror, directly under her self-made kill switch. Both her and her brother would have been keenly aware that standing in-front of the mirror was no-no.
So, I can understand the ghost hallucinations which are not her control – but it’s not like she lost all of her critical thinking skills. Does she somehow all of a sudden think that the murderous mirror had a soft-moment and wanted her to get a little hugging time in with her mom? Ugg. Lame.
Also, she went from a tough, focused person with a plan to a soft emotional person that threw her ambitions into the wind. Was she drunk?
I wish screen writers would stop making smart people stupid just because it’s convenient to their story.