“Oculus” shatters the typical horror movie with a different kind of villain


“Oculus” pushes the boundaries of scary. Credit: Intrepid Pictures

Lucas Wiltjer


"Oculus" pushes the boundaries of scary. Credit: Intrepid Pictures
“Oculus” pushes the boundaries of scary. Credit: Intrepid Pictures

You’re going to be scared to look into mirrors.

“Oculus” is a newly released horror movie that blurs the line between the past and the present. The movie takes place in two different time periods; 11 years in the past, when the main characters Kaylie and Tim Russell are young children, as well as in the present.

The “villain” in the story is an old Victorian style mirror. This mirror is able to control the minds of those who are around it, including the environment around them. The mirror makes people see and hear things that aren’t really there and changes their perspective on time and place.

When Kaylie and Tim Russell were children, “the mirror” drove their parents insane. Their father, Alan, tortured and killed their mother, Marie, because the mirror told him to. He then tried to kill his children, but Tim shot him. This very traumatic scene is played through various flashbacks throughout the film. Kaylie and Tim vowed to “never forget” what really happened with the mirror and their family.

In the present day, Tim gets released from therapy and Kaylie asks him to help her video tape what the mirror really does. In order to do this, they place cameras around the house as they spend one more night in their childhood home, which contains the mirror.

While spending the night, the mirror warps Tim and Kaylie’s view of the present by making them think they’re in the past. This leads to terrifying, sickening, and saddening plot-twists during the film.

The camera work was very basic. There’s nothing too fancy about it and they do a great job of keeping it simple, so that the audience is able to focus on the plot. Most of it was done from the perspective of the actors, making the audience feel as if they were really there.

There were times in the movie where the audience was watching the documentary the actors were making, even furthering the sense of being in the house with them and the mirror.

“Oculus” isn’t your typical horror movie. It employs several different “scare tactics” to frighten the viewer. It has jumpy, hair-raising, creepy, and just purely horrifying moments, such as when Kaylie mistakes a lightbulb for an apple, or when her husband unexpectedly shows up at the house. The movie is rivetting, energetic and will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

“Oculus” ignites the viewer’s senses by twisting reality as well as switching from the past to the present. Although the ending is not completely unexpected, it doesn’t make it any less terrifying.

What do you think?