Oculus is a horror film produced by Jason Blum who is also responsible for Insidious and Paranormal Activity. The film was directed by Mike Flanagan and stars Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, and James Lafferty.
Tim Russell (Thwaites) has been in a mental institution for the last eleven years after being convicted of murder and is finally scheduled for release on his 21st birthday. Upon his return to the real world, his sister Kaylie (Gillan) reintroduces some thoughts and ideas into his consciousness that had been repressed by all the therapy and treatment he had received while being institutionalized. Her plan is to confront an evil force contained within a mirror that she feels has been the real cause of the traumatic events that lead to the death of their parents. Tim reluctantly agrees to help and, before you know it, they are back at the house where they grew up although mysterious evil forces often do not want agree to cooperate with plans intended to get rid of them.
Every year, you will find a bunch of horror movies released that are slow, predictable, and watered down to the point where they lose all entertainment value other than one or two scares. Oculus is absolutely not one of those movies. I honestly feel like this movie should win some type of award for editing whether it be an Oscar, Golden Globe, or whoever else wants to throw one their way. What makes this such a good movie is how it effortlessly it weaves back and forth between two timelines to the point where you're never quite sure which one you are in at any given time and...well, you just have to see it to completely understand what I'm getting at.
Aside from that, it is also a very well written story that never slows down and it allows you very little time to really think about what just happened before hitting you with new twists and turns and each moment ramps up the tension just a little bit more. The way the evil in the mirror seems to control the action also leaves you constantly guessing about whether what you are seeing is actually happening or whether Kaylie and Tim are being manipulated into situations where they can be trapped and killed. Meanwhile, we also have to watch the kids' parents go through their own possession story which is also what sets up the current timeline and allows for all the back and forth manipulation to happen in the first place. Like I said before, you just have to see this movie to understand what I'm talking about.
If you like horror movies, Oculus is a very worthwhile entry into the genre and I wouldn't be surprised to see this become yet another of Jason Blum's successful franchises.