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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; butTen years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force—unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again. Expand
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: Richard Roeper
    Apr 10, 2014
    88
    Oculus is one of the more elegant scary movies in recent memory.
  3. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Apr 9, 2014
    82
    It’s clean, lean and smart.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 11, 2014
    60
    Oculus is a time bomb of a psychological horror film.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 10, 2014
    20
    The result: a dangerously cracked creep flick.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 67
  2. Negative: 10 out of 67
  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+ Collapse
  2. Sep 3, 2014
    9
    Gee whiz! A horror movie that does not insult your intelligence. There are a few thump/bump moments and a couple of shock-in-your-faceGee whiz! A horror movie that does not insult your intelligence. There are a few thump/bump moments and a couple of shock-in-your-face scenes, but overall "Oculus" has a plot that actually tells a satisfying story. Things happen for a reason. The movie is not exactly subtle, but it is certainly not the shear nonsense of so many recent horror movies. The Blu-Ray DVD came out today. See it! Expand
  3. Apr 11, 2014
    8
    Oculus is probably one of the creepiest movies I have seen in a long time and it disgusted me in some parts...in a good way. If you're aOculus is probably one of the creepiest movies I have seen in a long time and it disgusted me in some parts...in a good way. If you're a horror fan then this is a must see for you, Although I do recommend that if you do not like gore at all, that you avoid this film. Expand
  4. Oct 12, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A Shakespearean tragedy disguised as a psychological thriller / horror film. The movie has a strong impact if you suspend the expectation to be scared and shocked because it simply doesn't do that.

    Why is that? Because you catch on rather quickly that most of the movie is an illusion. The two main characters are reliving the trauma of their past in real time rather than flashing back to it. The director makes this perfectly obvious by interleaving the past and present, having the past versions of the characters occupy the same space and time as the adult characters. As a result, you realize you can't really believe anything you are seeing and fear arises from what we believe to be real not what we don't. There are a few of those jump out of your skin moments but they are entirely predictable as in someone turns around slowly and 7 Days chic is standing there - meh.

    The story though was heart-wrenching. You have boy, Tim, who inadvertently kills his father and (SPOILER ALERT) sister Kaylee because of this mirror thing from hell. A family is torn apart methodically by a sinister and malevolent force that has killed many others before. The scene at the end sticks in my mind like retina burn from an arc welder; Tim furiously pleading "It was the mirror" as he is driven away in a police cruiser and his sister materializing with the signature chromed eyes of the mirror's victims next to his parents with the same telltale trait in the window of the family's old house. Its at the moment when it really sinks in "Holy sh**, he actually killed his sister, he's the only one of his family still alive, he's going away to the big house, and no one will ever believe it wasn't his fault." No happy ending here. Its melancholy, depressing, and truly tragic.

    But not scary. And that is why I have to rate it down. It passes itself off as a horror thriller but its really a tragedy. Came for one thing got something else.
    Expand
  5. 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: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 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.
    Expand
  6. 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 theGood 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
  7. Sep 17, 2014
    0
    Oculus is like biting into a turd burger knowing full well it's going to taste like a big steamy dump. Sadly with that said I still watchedOculus is like biting into a turd burger knowing full well it's going to taste like a big steamy dump. Sadly with that said I still watched the piece of garbage. It is bad. Very bad, terribly bad.

    I will not say much about this piece of filth as I'd rather not relive it. Acting is bad, plot is worse, and the scares are all wanna-be jump scares. It sucks. It gets a zero. End of review.
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See all 67 User Reviews

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