Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 10, 2014
    91
    In Oculus, the horror is at once deceptively simple and rooted in a deep, primal uneasiness. Its scariest aspects are universally familiar.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Apr 10, 2014
    90
    Less concerned with fake shocks and show-me violence than the grimly calibrated rotting of personalities, Oculus is one of the more intelligently nasty horror films in recent memory.
  3. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Apr 8, 2014
    90
    Replete with superb performances led by a paranoid Sackhoff and unhinged Cochrane, it's the rare horror film to know how to tease malevolent mysteries and deliver satisfyingly unexpected, unsettling payoffs.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 10, 2014
    88
    Oculus is one of the more elegant scary movies in recent memory.
  5. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 10, 2014
    83
    Like many horror directors, Flanagan felt he could build a feature-length film around his brief idea. Unlike many, he was right.
  6. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Mar 10, 2014
    83
    It's easily the scariest movie since "The Conjuring," and in some ways is a deeper and more satisfying film. It's stylish but not showy, more concerned with the thematic undercurrents coursing just beneath the surface.
  7. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Apr 9, 2014
    82
    It’s clean, lean and smart.
  8. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 14, 2014
    75
    For a horror movie, Oculus is surprisingly lean on the scares. It's more interested in playing tricks with perception and bending reality.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Apr 10, 2014
    75
    Oculus director Mike Flanagan has crafted a satisfyingly old-fashioned ghost story that, in its evocation of shivery dread, is the most unnerving poltergeist picture since “The Conjuring.”
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 10, 2014
    75
    Unsettling and well-acted story.
  11. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 10, 2014
    75
    Like the similar, and slightly superior, "The Conjuring" last summer, Oculus eschews the buckets of gore common to R-rated horror movies and takes a relatively subtle, psychological approach — even if the somewhat disappointing ending leaves the door open for a sequel (or three).
  12. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Apr 9, 2014
    70
    The story's conclusion benefits from a closure that is satisfying despite — and even because of — its predictability.
  13. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Mar 10, 2014
    70
    Cleverly complex, if not quite as scary or memorable as one might have hoped.
  14. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Apr 9, 2014
    67
    The derivative evil-mirror potboiler Oculus doesn’t exactly shatter the clichés of the genre, but it does distort them in a couple of interesting ways, beginning with a creative reversal of the usual vengeful-spirit plot.
  15. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Apr 10, 2014
    63
    How do you get revenge on an inanimate object? That’s the quandary facing the characters in Oculus, a deeply silly and mildly effective horror movie.
  16. 63
    Oculus earns its frights the old fashioned way — with convincingly traumatized characters, with smoke and with mirrors.
  17. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Apr 5, 2014
    63
    Through a mini-triumph of montage, what begins as run-of-the-mill backstory vomit is thrillingly repackaged as an almost-Lynchian duet between warring states of consciousness.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 11, 2014
    60
    Oculus is a time bomb of a psychological horror film.
  19. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Apr 10, 2014
    60
    A derivative but efficient chiller that cribs from “Solaris,” “The Shining” and “The Amityville Horror” yet also shows glimmers of imagination.
  20. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Apr 11, 2014
    50
    Oculus eventually becomes little more than a series of ghostly figures and twisted visions on its way to a cop-out of an ending that you'll see coming an hour away.
  21. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 10, 2014
    50
    One of the problems with director Mike Flanagan’s occasionally involving but ultimately dull thriller is that the whole movie hinges on a reflective piece of glass.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Apr 10, 2014
    50
    At its best, it delves into the murky areas of memory, childhood trauma, and family conflict. But it forgoes such troubling issues for mumbo jumbo and glowing-eyed wraiths.
  23. Reviewed by: Kevin C. Johnson
    Apr 10, 2014
    50
    The flashbacks, which get almost as much screen time as the present day story, are far more compelling.
  24. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Apr 10, 2014
    50
    Oculus takes a potentially corny premise further than most could, but it keeps stumbling on the possibilities, never quite taking any of them all the way.
  25. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Apr 9, 2014
    50
    Unless you’re Billy Bob Thornton, old furniture just isn’t all that scary.
  26. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 9, 2014
    40
    Oculus never quite resolves into the image of horror it clearly wishes to be. Kudos, though, to cinematographer Michael Fimognari and score composers, the Newton Brothers – all of whom provide a fertile audiovisual background for Flanagan’s film.
  27. 30
    One reason Oculus feels so talky and monotonous in spite of its tricky syntax is that the space itself isn’t charged with malignancy. And the monster doesn’t compensate — it’s dumb, blockish, inert. The mirror doesn’t have two faces. It barely has one.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 10, 2014
    20
    The result: a dangerously cracked creep flick.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 61
  2. Negative: 10 out of 61
  1. Apr 25, 2014
    10
    After seeing oculus it was one of the greatest scary movie ever . the bad thing was the ending it really sucked . Know were on the edge ofAfter seeing oculus it was one of the greatest scary movie ever . the bad thing was the ending it really sucked . Know were on the edge of are seats and the thing are minds is "what the hell is gonna happen next ". Grade A+ Full Review »
  2. Apr 11, 2014
    8
    Oculus is one of the horror films that has a strong plot and an interesting premise to grind in for 105 minutes. Over watching this, I find itOculus is one of the horror films that has a strong plot and an interesting premise to grind in for 105 minutes. Over watching this, I find it scary and very eerie in terms of atmosphere and chilling actions. It's one of the must-sees for this month. You will find it great. Full Review »
  3. Apr 12, 2014
    8
    When most people hear the term "scary" these days, their mind instantly snaps to the thought of them being forced into shock by the ever-soWhen most people hear the term "scary" these days, their mind instantly snaps to the thought of them being forced into shock by the ever-so expected jump scare. For those who are expecting such; meet Oculus, a movie which takes that expectation and chokes it into submission. Sure there are a couple jump scares implemented [none that caught me, sadly], but this is more of a psychological horror movie that requires you to use your brain to get the full effect. That's right: you're going to have to use your mind to enjoy this movie, and if you can't do that, you'd might as well see something else. Rio 2 also released today, if you needed a suggestion. Anyways...

    Oculus will make you think, bend your thoughts, freak you out a bit, then make you think some more, which is definitely something I'd like to see more often within horror media. It'd be nice if more of it didn't just scare me with freaky monster designs, or jump scares, then make me think "I wonder if that thing will move" or **** it's been quiet for too long... There's a scare coming." the whole time. Wondering if what was happening during the entire film was real or fake really hit it off for me, and the ending, ooh~, that ending, was definitely one of the better ones I've seen from the genre in quite some time.

    So is this movie actually scary? That depends on the kind of person you are. Is it "The scariest film since The Conjuring?" Hell no. That movie just about gave me a heart attack. However, Oculus is a great movie that does 'scary' in a way that feels more like how terrifying it is when you're about to finish a puzzle but can't find the last piece, than how terrifying it is when someone jumps at you from the shadows.
    Full Review »