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    May 17, 2014

    MOVIE REVIEW: OCULUS

    Mirror mirror on the wall, is Oculus the scariest movie you have ever seen? The answer is not so much. But in this new era of cinematic age, supernatural horror can no longer depends only on using those traditional textbook tricks to produce one hell of a good one. An effective genre flick such as last year’s James Wan’s The Conjuring; while still using those old tricks effectively to throw you off the seat, a potent storyline and amazing set-pieces are also thrown in to make it amazing. Oculus does that right by offering a cynically twisted and brain-teasing story to gulp along with a clich├ęd piece of horror vehicle antique – a mirror.



    Forget about the mediocre trailer, Mike Flanagan's mind-teasing plot is interesting to follow and it gets much more interesting as the fine line between reality and fantasy becomes progressively fuzzy. The plot is equally split into three phases with the opening act that kick starts the mechanic of the story with reminding the audience that there is an unfinished business to deal with. The slow burn opening quickly ascends into the middle stint that tries to challenge the insanity of the story. Yes, it does. And Mike Flanagan throws in an unexpected character-driven plot that uses the four actors who are playing two characters eleven years apart so condemning well.

    If you are not yet impressed, wait for the final act and all goes full throttle of constant snapping those tiny scary moments and they chill you right out. In the end, it may provide little closure but a true reward for enduring all of those hay-wires. Oculus carries a non-conventional method in its story-telling, frequently jumps the story back and forth, and it becomes more frantic (could be annoying) towards the end. It is a good idea that Flanagan avoids from revealing too much from the past for the sake of developing more questions and surprising parallelism between the timelines. But despite the crazy pacing, Oculus frequently hits on the note it needed to impress.

    Unfortunately, the tagline of it been one of the scariest movie is an overstatement. But Oculus is a mind game that is effectively made and elegantly displayed.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 3.5
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 4.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 15.0/20.0

    "Oculus" stars Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff; presented by Relativity (via Rainfilm Sdn Bhd); directed by Mike Flanagan from his screenplay. The movie is rated 18 and is released in Malaysia since April 10, 2014. The movie runs about 105 minutes.
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