It really feels as though fans might be divided on whether or not Oculus was a worthy horror movie since it was mostly about cerebral horror and not as much about the visceral aspect of it. The thing about horror though is that too much of one style or the other is bound to alienate some fans even if it satisfies others. Oculus had a lot of very interesting visuals since the mirrors for eyes was a creepy way to set things up and the whole idea of the mirror being used as a catalyst for the horror was also interesting. But somewhere along the line, this movie tripped up in a big way since it started to drag in a very big way even as the terror attempted to ramp up. When a moviegoer can roll their eyes and become impatient with a horror movie it’s evident that the story has kind of hit a snag, if not a very big stopping point since some of the most pulse-pounding horror movies keep people on the edge of their seat and gripping their armrests as their rational mind needs something to hold onto in order to remind itself that this is just a movie.
Sadly, despite the fact that this movie had a good idea to work with, Oculus was the type of story that one could have left running in order to use the restroom or get another bucket of popcorn at the theater and caught up with easily upon returning. Some movies can lose a person if they’re gone for more than a couple of seconds, but Oculus is one of those that moves so slowly that a lot of people might have struggled to stay awake rather than to avoid screaming from fear. But despite all that, it was a great idea, even if the follow-through was kind of meh. There have been quite a few horror movies that have gone down this path, as they’ve led off with a great premise and a story that grips the audience, but then ends up losing some vital component along the way and attempts to keep going.
The fact that this movie hobbled along like it did was kind of impressive since it meant to convey as much horror as it could without getting too insanely gross, but also while keeping the bloodletting in to let the audience know that there was in fact a more visceral aspect to it. Even the death of the sister at the end wasn’t excessively gory, and she had an anchor penetrate the back of her neck as it pinned her to the mirror that had been causing all the problems. The psychological aspect of this movie was great since the mind games that the mirror managed to play with those who were affected by it became a huge point of the movie. They couldn’t tell what was real and ended up doing more damage that couldn’t be explained but was plain and clear to those that were unaware of how the mirror affected those that looked into it. One of the greatest parts of any horror movie is the psychological manipulation that takes place and will gaslight the victims while effectively hiding any proof that anything out of the ordinary happened.
How to make this movie any better with a reboot is kind of difficult to explain since it’s not a simple fix and it’s definitely not something that can simply be redone by eliminating a lot of elements from the movie. Perhaps a prequel would be best for this since the fact is that the mirror did take more than one person as evidenced by their appearance near the endpoint of the movie when they finally appear. A prequel might actually open up this story a bit more, and could possibly make a reboot less of a factor, but it still feels as though the movie could use a bit of sprucing up to make it flow in a much better manner and not risk putting people to sleep. It was a great enough idea that it doesn’t need a lot of embellishment and exaggerated plot points, but something could possibly be done to bring a little pep into this tale in order to keep people wondering what’s going to happen next.
Horror movies don’t have to rely solely on jump scares to be terrifying, as it’s been proven with many scary tales. But there are times when a story can drag out just a little too much when the director is attempting to build the dread so that the eventual reveal is absolutely terrifying. Oculus managed to drag on way too much in some cases and had the feeling of being given too much filler and not enough real substance to the story. But the overall premise was definitely sound as a pound.a prequelhorror movie