Oculus is a 2013 American horror film from Jason Blum, the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious. It was directed by Mike Flanagan (Abstentia) from a screenplay by him and Jeff Howard. The film stars Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Outcast), Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane (Dazed and Confused) and Katee Sackhoff (Riddick). It was released in the U.S. on April 11, 2014 by Intrepid Pictures/Relativity.
The film is released on digital HD July 29, 2014 and Blu-ray and DVD August 5, 2014.
Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents.
Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…
“When the scares do occur, they aren’t cheap. There are some jump scares here and there with the use of loud cues and large images but Oculus somewhat goes into the “James Wan style”. Meaning there is a wide use of long pans and tracking shots as well as make-up. Practical effects are losing the battle to CGI (no surprise) but there are many appropriate films that they can be used subtly, wisely and effectively and Oculus takes huge advantage of this.” Dylan Hoang, Moviepilot
Forthcoming U.S. disc releases will present Oculus in anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen, with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio on the Blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound on the DVD. The special features are:
• Audio commentary by Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy
• Deleted scenes with optional commentary by Flanagan and Macy
• “Inside the Mirror: Creating OCULUS” featurette
• Original 33-minute OCULUS short film with optional commentary by Flanagan and Macy
• Theatrical trailer
“The film earns some points twisting the earlier story into the current one, a feat accomplished through some marvelously sharp editing, but by the end it’s getting in the way of the present instead of enhancing it … Oculus is well-acted, looks quite good, and manages some moments of entertainment, but as the minutes tick by it grows weaker and weaker until its final cheat designed to allow for a shocker ending. On the sliding scale of “mirror horror” this one sits somewhere between Mirrors and, well, Mirrors 2.” Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects