A woman tries to prove that supernatural forces inside a centuries-old mirror were responsible for the death of her parents and to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of their father's murder when they were kids.
Allow me to start this review by saying that I fell into a trap with this film. You're probably asking yourself why I am saying this? The honest answer was that I was intrigued by the trailer, which looked surprisingly solid and also by the fact that it was an R-rated film. I was not only wrong in that assumption but I think Oculus will join my list of most underwhelming horror films. The cast was surprisingly solid with Katee Sackhoff and Karen Gillian delivering pretty solid performances to what was a lackluster script and was one of the stronger points of the film. Where the film started to fall apart was the pacing – which not only dragged on but took a film that should have been roughly 85 minutes and pushed it to nearly two hours, with the bulk of time spent laying ground work and the amount of ground work didn't even shed light on the origins of the “cursed” mirror. The goal of the main characters evolved from destroying the mirror to a series of terrible decisions that pretty much set the stage for all the supposed “scares” which were sadly lacking in the “scary” department.
The director had a ton of opportunities to right the ship so to speak and give us a unique horror story, but instead decided to go with most obvious plot devices which just made the film terribly predictable. It's not all bad though because the director was effective with misdirection and it was probably the strongest part of the film as certain scenes had you questioning if they were real or part of the mirror's magic. The flaws in this film could not be remedied even if if it had a more mainstream cast or a bigger budget because the problems came from the story itself and its poor execution.
I can't in good conscience recommend this film to fellow horror fans because the flaws are just way too glaring and while the style and twists are okay, it ends up running too long to a point where you just want the credits to roll and be put out of your misery. The shortage of scares doesn't help much either since you can probably count them on one hand.