Horror for horror’s sake
Horror for Horror’s Sake, There are horror films and there are horror films and they come in different hues. But the manner in which they unfurl is quite important.
There are horror films and there are horror films and they come in different hues. But the manner in which they unfurl is quite important. In ‘Oculus’ we start with the premise that Tim has killed his father Alan because he saw him kill his mother. But we start with a fast-forward and Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) has just returned from a correctional home and is met by his elder sister Kaylie Russell (Karen Gillan) who has been living in what she is convinced is a haunted house. It is an ancient mirror that is the object of contention. So she traces its previous owners and how they came upon bizarre deaths.
Tim wants to put the past behind him and move on but his domineering sister (evident even when they were young) is bent on getting to the root of the spirit. That’s what the film is all about. Director Mike Flanagan has an exciting subject but he tends to make a meal of it. The constant cutting back and forth is quite disconcerting. There are many questions but few answers. Suspense and horror go hand in hand but it is low on credibility. The casting is excellent, especially the very masculine Katee Sackhoff. Rory Cochrane (maybe a relative of 1950s actor Steve Cochrane of ‘Highway 301’ fame) is enigmatic as ever so it’s left the siblings to hold forte. And though Karen Gillan is believable, the mumbo-jumbo of recreating the past is not. It ends up being just another horror-for-horror’s-sake scary movie.