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

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 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: 42 out of 60
  2. Negative: 10 out of 60
  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 2, 2014
    9
    "Oculus" is a very well-made horror film. It relies on a dark atmosphere rather than blood or jump scares, and the mirror is quite interesting"Oculus" is a very well-made horror film. It relies on a dark atmosphere rather than blood or jump scares, and the mirror is quite interesting and disturbing. The way the story is told, the past and the present being told at the same time and eventually interconnecting towards the end, is pretty cool, but it becomes somewhat confusing in the third act when the past and the present are blended together. It's overall a very satisfying, enjoyable, and interesting movie, and I highly recommend it. Expand
  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.
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  4. Apr 25, 2014
    7
    Despite being heavy on tension instead of scares, Oculus never stops generating new ideas on the way up to the end, with a mind bendingDespite being heavy on tension instead of scares, Oculus never stops generating new ideas on the way up to the end, with a mind bending premise, complex build up with jumps back and fourth in time, and a distinctive ending, Oculus is a memorable film for generations to come. 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.
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  6. 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 andIt 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. 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 60 User Reviews

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