Oculus movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This unsettling, bloody and very smart psychological horror movie is not for everyone; it may be hard to understand. But it’s very well-made and enjoyable, despite the first half hour not being very engaging.


Haunted by a family tragedy that occurred ten years ago when they were kids, now young adults, a woman attempts to exonerate her younger brother who was convicted of murder by proving that the crimes were committed by a supernatural mirror after he is released from a mental hospital.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Release Date (Australia): 19 October 2014
Runtime: 104 minutes/1h 44m
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film features horror themes, supernatural themes, disturbing scenes, child abuse and references to murder.

Violence (MA15+)

The film includes several scenes of supernatural horror violence, including bloody depictions of stabbings, shootings, impalement and injury detail. There is a depictions of a character accidentally biting into a lightbulb and pulling the bloody shards of glass from her mouth.

Coarse Language (M)

There is infrequent and brief use of the word “f**k”, as well as use of the words “hell”, “damn” and “s**t”.

Sex (PG)

A man is depicted kissing down his wife’s body.

mpaa rating

R (for terror, violence, some disturbing images and brief language)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Oculus takes some time to have us captivated fully, but the deeply unsettling and psychological tone doesn’t turn back once it’s on and everything is so cleverly-designed and original. Horror fans should not underestimate the clichéd and often predictable concept for this outstanding horror movie you truly digest in. Overall, it puts a very smart twist on the supernatural-mirror concept and leaves you in sincere disturbance only rare horror movies succeed in doing.

Ten years ago, two siblings’ parents were brutally murdered and the brother was convicted of murder and sent to a mental hospital, but once he’s discharged, he and his sister come back to the mirror and participate in recorded activities to prove the mirror is responsible for their parents’ deaths. It’s not an entirely original concept, but what’s new is the freshness of the extremely unsettling feeling that begins after the first act with a poor pacing.

This movie jumps back and forth in time in the form of flashbacks to the horrors these two siblings experienced as kids, with convincing performances from both the child and adult actors. There’s demonic ghouls, lots of supernatural moments that make you question what’s real and what isn’t, and an absolutely shocking ending leaving off extremely unevenly but unforgettably. There’s so much thought put into Oculus by the director, writers and producers, which makes an entertaining and relentlessly riveting mystery worth your time.

Thank you for reading this page and for more Aussie Boy reviews, visit Aussieboyreviews.com.