Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Review: ‘Oculus’ successfully frightens and intrigues

Created by the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, and directed by Mike Flanagan, ‘Oculus‘ has caused immense hype from its audience, and has gained positive reviews from critics, naming it “one of the scariest movies they’ve seen in years” according to Hollywoodlife.com.

The film begins with Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) being released after 11 years from a mental institution for the murder of his father. He then reunites with his older sister, Kaylie Russell (Karen Gillan) and both decide to hold to the promise they made as kids, to return to their old home and destroy the malicious mirror they believe is the cause of their childhood nightmare; the site where they witnessed their parents brutally murdered.

While Tim was locked up in the mental hospital, Kaylie ambitiously researched thousands of cases in which other victims have died and the mirror has been in the crime scene; her evidence proved that her father, as well as her mother, were possessed by the mirror and that it was not truly him who murdered his wife.

Despite the surprising jump scares over hideous-looking spirits, ‘Oculus’ foreshadows it’s ending in the first 20 minutes of the film. However, it did an excellent job of intriguing the audience by jumping back and forth from the present day Tim and Kaylie, to their childhood selves.

Kaylie’s tactic for knowing when she is in the present is due to her iPhone camera or any other camera, by showing her what reality really is and not what is in her mind since the mirror manipulates her and her brother’s thoughts.

Sometimes it was hard to distinguish which reality was actually real, the childhood scenes, or the adult scenes. Nonetheless, it caught my attention, and even though it was way too repetitive in some aspects, it kept the audience interested,

As the film progresses, the audience starts to learn who, or what is really in the haunted mirror, and we learn that the mirror, no matter how hard one tries to break it, cannot be destroyed and it will eventually hurt, or even kill those that try to do so.

Unlike other typical ghost/supernatural movies, ‘Oculus’ did a great job of balancing between emotional scares and physical scares.Some parts of the movie made you want to throw your popcorn at the person next to you because the actors do exactly what you don’t want them to do, but other parts make you almost shed a tear of how messed up this film is.

What this movie lacked though, was explaining more about what the word “oculus’ means. We get it, the movie is about a haunted and evil mirror, but a history of the word would have been great.

Although the film has received good feedback, there could have been room for improvement. the acting was good, but what is the point of having good actors if the characters just went around in a full circle? It makes no sense. The ending basically “deja vu’s” their childhood. So nothing good came out of the end, nothing.

But yet it is a movie you want to see over and over again until you figure out what really happened; was it all just hallucinations, or was it reality? Go on and find out, you’ll definitely see, cause after all, with ‘Oculus’, “you see what it wants you to see.”


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About the Contributor
Katherine Grijalva
Katherine Grijalva, Arts Editor
Fall 2014
Hello, my name is Katherine. Just a 21 year old gal who happens to be the Arts Editor this semester. Former Opinion Copy Editor. I am majoring in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. Aside from writing I enjoy attending concerts, Disneyland trips, eating, shopping, and surfing the web and find out the latest news.
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Review: ‘Oculus’ successfully frightens and intrigues