Today one may think that every single movie, created in the genre of horror, can be easily categorized. No matter whether it’s a possession movie, a found footage movie, a slasher movie or some inane combination. Finding something diverse seems quite rare.
Mike Flanaganâs horror film “Oculus”, definitely strives to be different. Combining elements from several subgenre columns into something that feels new and fresh, “Oculus”Â shows atory of two siblings trying to get rid of a haunted mirror that drives people to wild hallucinations, blurring lines between whatâs real and whatâs not.
“Flanaganâs script isÂ a psychological jumping bean as it hops wildly between multiple timelines, putting the audiences in the shoes of the characters, everyone totally unaware of precisely whatâs going on. The whole thing has a fluid feeling thatâs not exactly innovative, but exciting enough to potentially kick off a new franchise,” writes of the movie Slash Film.
“OculusÂ has a unique take and execution on the tired âhauntedâ plot. Much like the reality of a mirror itself, withÂ Oculus, you can never be sure youâre getting an accurate reflection of things,” describes her feeling after the movieÂ Jill PantozziÂ of The Mary Sue.
“For a horror movie, Oculus is surprisingly lean on the scares. It’s more interested in playing tricks with perception and bending reality,” claimsÂ James Berardinelli of Reelviews.
Kofi Outlaw of ScreenRant adds of the horror movie: “The unique stylistic approach to haunted house horror will be a novelty to fans of the genre – just don’t be disappointed when it all ends with a fizzle instead of a bang.”
“Oculus’ real weapon is its flashbacks, which aren’t specifically used as flashbacks but rather as illusions and nightmares forced upon the characters by the mirror’s evil,” writes of the noveltyÂ Jeffrey M. AndersonÂ ofÂ Common Sense Media.
However, of course there’re those who don’t like the movie. Thus, for example,Â Jason BuchananÂ ofÂ TV Guide’s Movie GuideÂ describes Oculus: “This supernatural spellbinder succeeds at disorienting the viewer with a cleverly structured screenplay, but it never quite manages to frighten despite some solid tension and eerie imagery.”
Chris SawinÂ of Examiner can’t agree more: “It deserves credit for seamlessly blending timelines and perspectives, but its mind games just fail to deliver proper scares. Oculus aimed to be the next Insidious, but it is actually nothing more than a reflective mess.”
But on the whole, practically all the reviewers came at the same conclusion: Oculus is quite a thrilling and scary movie.
Witney SeiboldÂ ofÂ NerdistÂ described it as the scariest picture she’s ever seen. “OculusÂ is one of the damn scariest movies in years,” she says.
“Mike FlanaganâsÂ OculusÂ is a gorgeously chaotic, eerie, and downright frightening horror film. I saw a late night screening of it, which was, I feel, a mistake. Its effects still linger. Itâs more than just a taut thriller (which it is), a well-made movie (which it most certainly is), or a clever premise (which it has). Itâs scary. And thatâs not something I can say too often,” she concluded.