Thursday, 17 July 2014

Oculus (15) | Film Review

Oculus, dir. Mike Flanagan, wr. Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard, based on Oculus: Chapter Three - The Man With The Plan by Mike Flanagan, st. Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane, Katee Sackhoff

Behind every new iteration of the wheel, lies the same basic premise. So in Mike Flanagan's stab at the horror genre we have possessed relics with mind-altering properties and mirrored glass that acts as a portal for nasties. It's a tried and tested formula to be sure, but Oculus does earn extra points for being able to conjure a particularly chilling environment thanks to its isolationist setting, a poignant POV from the perspective of two young siblings watching the evil take a hold of their parents, and Karen Gillan's spunky older Kaylie, determined to beat the Devil. Alas if only there were a bit more of this. Kaylie's obsessive planning and tech-rigging in order to capture the beast sets up a delicious play-off against the titular oculus, itself imbued with a cunning sentience (its defence by distraction technique is effectively creepy and goreless), but the ending eschews match-meeting for a safer, more traditional Twilight Zone episode closer that leaves the nagging sensation of just another monster movie.