Oculus

User Score
4.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 328 Ratings

User score distribution:
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  1. Jul 29, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Oculus is a fresh installation in the horror genre which has an original story, a great cast and a mix of past and present sequences. It has some great jump scares but in the whole the movie doesn't really want to scare, but to thrill and to have a twist ending. I honestly think that the writers were bored and couldn't find a better way to close the film as it leaves many questions and for sure there is not going to be a sequel and so everybody's question are never going to be answered.It had a great potential, but somewhere in the end it lost it.Could have been muuuuuuch better. Still is something original and a horror movie that needs your attention. Check it out! Expand
  2. Apr 12, 2014
    6
    Director Mike Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard expand on their original 30-minute short film about a lethal piece of furniture "Oculus: Chapter 3" to a feature-length film. While it's a cut above the usual paranormal thriller, its 105 minute runtime doesn't dramatically improve on its mysterious element and it falls short on dread and tension. While "Oculus" slowly develops an unsettlingDirector Mike Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard expand on their original 30-minute short film about a lethal piece of furniture "Oculus: Chapter 3" to a feature-length film. While it's a cut above the usual paranormal thriller, its 105 minute runtime doesn't dramatically improve on its mysterious element and it falls short on dread and tension. While "Oculus" slowly develops an unsettling story that cleverly undermines an age-old horror-film cliché, it's never quite as scary or as memorable as one might have hoped.

    After shooting his father and spending years in psychiatric care, Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites), reunites with his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan), who claims that an antique mirror in their father's study was what destroyed their family, as well as the families of many owners before them. Tim reluctantly agrees to help Kaylie document the mirror's effects, but all goes awry when it begins to play with their perceptions-intermingling past and present, memory and reality, and forcing them to witness again their parents' violent relationship, with devastating results.

    What's unique about "Oculus" is its structure, which cuts back and forth between Tim and Kaylie in 2012 and their experiences 10 years earlier. Flanagan daringly cross cuts between flashbacks and the present, and even sometimes unities the two storylines in the same shot. Flanagan uses the back story to inform the audience of the details of how this started, while at the same time using it to terrorize Tim and Kaylie, who aren't quite sure if what they are seeing -- and doing -- is real or not.

    Flanagan creates a number of eerie visual parallels between the past and present, but eventually the slow-burn suspense sequences and sudden shocks become increasingly repetitive. Throughout the film's slow build-up, Flanagan effectively incorporates some creepy images and the film convincingly earns its frights the old-fashioned way. However, the third act offers an escalation in action accompanied with a scene of shock that doesn't intensify or enhance its predictable, lackluster finale. To his credit, Flanagan takes a dubious premise further than most could. That being said, next time just smash the damn mirror.
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  3. Apr 19, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Oculus was hard to follow between their past and present and I think that the ending wasn't good. Other than that every thing else was alright. Usually in horror movies something good happens at the end, but not in this one Expand
  4. Apr 12, 2014
    5
    This is a tricky mirror and you will have to wait for 3 to 4 sequels to nail the damn thing. Hope Tim does not screw in the next one when he comes out of mental hospital after another 10 yrs (that means he'll be about 31 yrs played by Bradley Cooper).
  5. Apr 13, 2014
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Am I really the only one who thought that this film was really mediocre? Not only did it mess with my head to the point where I felt like I was about to get a headache, but it was also a complete mess! What started out as such a promising and interesting concept quickly went downhill as the film progressed. Flashbacks occurred occasionally at the beginning, but a little towards the halfway mark they got way carried away with them to the point where every 5 minutes it would go from the present to the past again. And if it wasn't confusing enough already, pretty soon they started intertwining the past and present with the younger versions of the two leads seeing themselves in situations from the present and vice versa. And just when you thought it couldn't get any more disappointing, the ending happens and needless to say, the ending really pissed me off! Much like last year's "The Purge" a great concept for a film was poorly executed. The case couldn't be any stronger with this film. Overall, a huge letdown for me. Expand
  6. Apr 17, 2014
    4
    A young brother and sister survive the effects of a haunted mirror only to relive the evil 11 years later. The concept had potential and the cross-cutting between their present and past has promise. Unfortunately, the pacing drags, the scares are minimal and the whole thing falls apart.
  7. Apr 19, 2014
    6
    "Oculus"'s ending may leave a poor taste in your mouth, but the brilliant camera and narrative work at hand is undeniable, as well as some fantastic mythological world-building and use of tension.
  8. May 25, 2014
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Although it is good to a see an original horror movie, Oculus is very light on scares. There was a lot of potential here but it didn't come together. The switching between past and present is done poorly. The end is also very predicable. The film makers tried hard to produce an interesting movie... but it isn't. Not even Karen Gillan could save this movie. Expand
  9. May 26, 2014
    6
    Good enough to keep me entertained the whole time, but if your looking for big scares, this isn't the right movie. More of a messes-with-your-mind kinda movie.
  10. Jun 22, 2014
    6
    #sosa #Boring #weakScript #badActors No asusta , #goodPhoto buena fotografía . buuuu zzzzzz Es un copy paste mal hecho de películas de terror de culto. Espera a que salga en DVD
  11. Aug 6, 2014
    5
    This movie doesn't have the jump scares most thought it would have but it does have its moments. The way the movie is shown is very creative and makes it a unique horror movie. However, the ending seemed forced which made me and my friends feel annoyed when it was over. What could of been a great horror movie was ruined by the ending.
  12. Sep 4, 2014
    5
    Another typical no hope contemporary horror film where nobody wins-and everybody gets completely and utterly screwed beyond any hope of any victory whatsoever. Films like this might as well use hideous death metal soundtracks and offer the audience free suicide pills. These films are all made from 'formulas' as in all they think they need to make a good horror film is a young woman & aAnother typical no hope contemporary horror film where nobody wins-and everybody gets completely and utterly screwed beyond any hope of any victory whatsoever. Films like this might as well use hideous death metal soundtracks and offer the audience free suicide pills. These films are all made from 'formulas' as in all they think they need to make a good horror film is a young woman & a male of a similar age-and old house or seedy neighbourhood-plus satan. It makes it all work-in their minds. What you have here in this film is an ode to nihilism philosophy that I don't find very rewarding. I don't agree that victory isn't possible against evil but what these films say is victory against evil is unobtainable. Which creates psychological paralysis which can extend to physical paralysis-in the face of adversity. Expand
  13. Sep 7, 2014
    6
    A film that literally makes you crazy, trying to reveal what happened and happened in the silent House away from nothing and close to everything (the typical atmosphere of American terror). Characters maybe fell short in personality and to say confusing conclusion; These two factors caused a slump in my score. But that does not desmerita it cause me a couple of real screams.
  14. Sep 8, 2014
    5
    It kept me entertained most of the time but when it comes to be even remotely scary, it fails big time. However, the film is creative and makes for a unique horror movie.
  15. Dec 27, 2014
    6
    Up until the ending, this movie delivers some of the creepiest and most thrilling moments I've seen from horror movies lately. It's just a shame that it builds up all of that tension and excitement and then lets you down with the ending that can only be described as anticlimactic. In my eyes, if a movie can't stand on it's own then it can't stand at all. No one should have to say, "wellUp until the ending, this movie delivers some of the creepiest and most thrilling moments I've seen from horror movies lately. It's just a shame that it builds up all of that tension and excitement and then lets you down with the ending that can only be described as anticlimactic. In my eyes, if a movie can't stand on it's own then it can't stand at all. No one should have to say, "well this movie is great if there's gonna be a sequel." There's no sense of finality or hope at all, and while horror movies don't really need hope, it makes for a better movie in my opinion. Expand
  16. Dec 28, 2014
    5
    Good movie, great potential. It seems many folks didn't like the ending. Why? Because it hits too close to home but doesn't provide the outcome we are all secretly moving towards. The world of duality is unreal, and we are performing the dance of the maya but have the same goal, which is awakening and returning home. Movies that hit on those real concepts only succeed if there is aGood movie, great potential. It seems many folks didn't like the ending. Why? Because it hits too close to home but doesn't provide the outcome we are all secretly moving towards. The world of duality is unreal, and we are performing the dance of the maya but have the same goal, which is awakening and returning home. Movies that hit on those real concepts only succeed if there is a breakthrough (like the Matrix). A Course In Miracles explains our hidden Self and how we get out of the illusion. But it is fun watching the one Mind working through the one problem... Expand
  17. Aug 12, 2014
    6
    The thriller was really scary so,i thought the movie would be one of the best horror movie in years.But, every scary things in the movie were in the trailer,so i was a little disappointed.But the movie does have some scary and unexpected things that were not shown in the trailer.
  18. Mar 1, 2015
    5
    Perhaps I went into this with far too high expectations as I had been hearing nothing but praise, but to my dismay I thought it was just average. Still better than the mountain of horrot garbage that has been released in recent years.

    I liked the psychological aspect of the plot, a shame it wasn't played out more, opting for a more generic twist. Acting was mostly bland, aside from
    Perhaps I went into this with far too high expectations as I had been hearing nothing but praise, but to my dismay I thought it was just average. Still better than the mountain of horrot garbage that has been released in recent years.

    I liked the psychological aspect of the plot, a shame it wasn't played out more, opting for a more generic twist. Acting was mostly bland, aside from Sackhoff who looked like she was trying her hardest.

    Overall:
    Oculus is an OK-ish horror that had an interesting premise but lackluster conclusion. A rental at best.
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  19. May 27, 2015
    6
    Apesar dos erros com o cenário, ainda sim há suspense e medo predominante, a base do filme é ótima mas poderia ser melhor, e os personagens deveriam possuir características mais relevantes.
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 11, 2014
    60
    Oculus is a time bomb of a psychological horror film.