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'Oculus' is nothing to look at

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Oculus, a horror film directed by Michael Flanagan

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Low-budget horror films have been around for decades. The concept became so prevalent that B-movie horror flicks diluted the genre in years when other genres were thriving. Thankfully, the introductions of digital filmmaking and micro-budget productions have created a new beast all together. Despite this new frontier, not all endeavors reach their marks. “Oculus” is one such story.

Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites star as siblings Kaylie and Tim. Tim has just been released from a psychiatric hospital on his 21st birthday. While he has been struggling with the events of their shared past, Kaylie has been tracking down an ominous mirror. Said mirror has a history of killing its owners, one of which was Kaylie and Tim’s father. Possessed by the sinister looking glass, a quiet family of four is destroyed. Now that Tim is out, Kaylie aims for the two of them to end the mirror’s reign of terror.

“Oculus” starts off like a classic horror film, building unease and increasing tension like a good slow burn. This effect only lasts for half an hour though, because it becomes apparent that the plot isn’t going very far. Like a firecracker dud, the fuse gets shorter, but nothing goes off. The marketing of the film paint it as a violent and disturbing story like many of the recent Blumhouse Production features. However, this is not the kind of film that merits a nationwide release. No amount of Karen Gillan can save such an uninspired execution. Had this been a “Goosebumps” book story, the entire movie would feel more on point. Unfortunately, “Oculus” is a boring and lackluster horror film void of terror or intensity. 1.5 out of 5 stars

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