Review: Oculus (2013)


Intelligent and unsettling, Oculus – an expansion of director Mike Flanagan’s similarly titled short film – is one of the better horror films of the past few years. Long after the death of their parents, Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and her brother Tim (Brenton Thwaites), who’s recently been released from a psychiatric hospital, reunite to destroy the mirror responsible for the evildoings in their past. With strong performances from its entire cast (Gillan and Katee Sackhoff as the kids’ mother are particularly notable), Oculus is an impressively old-fashioned psychological thriller. The films dual-narrative – past and present are both awarded equal time – is used well to piece the puzzle together bit-by-bit, and there’s a few stand-out nasty moments of trickery. Flanagan directs with control, particularly in the way he builds the films impetus and unnerving atmosphere towards an effective finale.

1 thought on “Review: Oculus (2013)”

  1. Like many people, this came to my attention because Karen Gillan was in it. Didn’t think much of it (plenty of good or great actors and actresses have done crap before), but I’m seriously going to have to give this a watch some point after all the good press it’s been getting. Never thought people would be raving about it so much. A few years ago, I saw one of the directors earlier films Absentia. Didn’t love it, but like the spirit behind it. Great review. Short, to the point, but no less satisfying.


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