Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 23: Oculus

Schlocktoberfest IV

Oculus (2014)

Trailer:

*Spoilers Throughout*

Oculus-posterWhat’s It About: Karen Gillan and her brother try to prove that an old creepy mirror is somehow responsible for the deaths of their parents as well as other mysterious deaths to whoever previously owned the same mirror. Yes, it is as dumb as it sounds. Ladies and gentlemen, the horror genre has officially ran out of ideas! 

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • You know we’re in for a high quality production when you see the WWE studios logo in front of your horror movie.
  • Two kids fumble with the front door to leave the house. How are kids so stupid that they don’t know how their own front door works?
  • $16,000 bid on an old Scottish slightly broken framed mirror? What is wrong with people? I wish I had so much money that an old mirror is worth that to me.
  • Rory Cochran looks terrible. What happened to him?
  • Oh the married couple make love first night in their new home cliché.
  • Already I’m confused. Karen Gillan’s character Kaylie wakes up and slowly walks towards the old mirror and stares at it. But a scene earlier had Rory Cochran look at the same mirror in his home. Then as Kaylie turns around (in her home) Rory attacks her. Kaylie then wakes up from a nightmare back in her bed. I just don’t get it.
  • Wait so what’s this mirror that Kaylie’s looking at in storage? And why is she talking to it? She asked if it was hungry. Oh gawd, I hope this is like Death Bed but with a killer mirror!
  • OOOOOHHHH! Rory Cochran is Kaylie and her brother’s father and those scenes are flashbacks. Maybe I missed the subtitle telling us that it was years earlier. If there was no subtitle then this is easily the worst flashback editing I’ve ever seen.
  • Do you have enough Apple Mac’s Kaylie? Why is there four Macs in this room?
  • YES! This is more or less Death Mirror! Kaylie believes that this mirror is responsible for over 75 murders.
  • One of the deaths was reported as dehydration and Kaylie thinks it’s odd that was the cause when the body was found soaking in a bathtub for 3 days. Last I checked, just because you’re in water doesn’t mean your body is absorbing it. Otherwise swimming excessively would make us balloon up like a sponge!
  • I’m all on board with a supernatural and haunted mirror that killed a few people but this mirror looks completely evil. It’s ugly, huge and gaudy. The fact that more than 75 people owned this hideous thing is hard to swallow.
  • I find it hard to believe that Rory Cochran is a software engineer when he types so badly.
  • Also why is this huge ugly mirror in Rory’s office? Who hangs a huge mirror in an office? If it’s a showcase mirror then why not hang it in a living room or foyer or somewhere most people can see it?
Mirror, Mirror on the wall...who's the lamest one of all?

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…who’s the lamest one of all?

  • And how is it that this mirror was owned by a simple software engineer yet now can fetch up to $16,000 at an auction? How and when did it become a sought-out collectible?
  • The young Tim actually tells his sad dog to “chase a stick.” Huh? A dog fetches a stick not chases it.
  • The mirror ate the dog?! It literally consumed the dog! DEATH MIRROR! THE MIRROR THAT EATS!!
  • Kaylie has 4 alarms for various things for her and Tim to do while observing Death Mirror. All 4 alarms are identical and make the same buzz sound. So how does she know or keep correct tabs of what alarm is for what? This is something that can easily be screwed up after a few hours without proper labeling.
  • Tim releases the dog that Kaylie had in a cage in front of Death Mirror out of the house and accuses Kaylie of torturing the poor dog. But he’s missing the point of releasing the dog into the neighborhood as a stray now. It could get hit by a car or something.
  • I have a general question. What do ghosts do when they’re not haunting or bugging people? Like in these haunted house movies there’s always scenes of people just talking or doing random everyday things and there’s no ghost activity around them. So in those moments what are the ghosts doing? Are they just listening or watching or are they sleeping or something?
  • What is the point for Death Mirror to make its subjects hallucinate? It tricks Kaylie that she took a bite out of a lightbulb instead of her apple. But it was her apple all along. What’s the point of that? Sure it scared Kaylie and made her believe for a moment that her mouth was torn apart but it was just a hallucination. If only it really tricked her into actually biting a lightbulb that would be something. And she knows that mirror is evil so she should already expect something like this to happen.
  • Did kids in 2002 really still play Laser Tag? Tim and Kaylie are obsessed with it—there’s at least 3 other scenes of them playing it.
  • Is Kaylie’s boyfriend aware of her Death Mirror experiment? He has some idea because he is calling every hour as a form of “fail-safe” for Kaylie. But did he really agree to this scenario just based on her theories? That’s some good boyfriend. Frankly, if my girlfriend had these stories, theories and did this much research and preparation on such a subject I would tell her to take a hike. However, this is Karen Gillan so maybe I’d at least call her every hour too I suppose.
  • So Kaylie was spooked by her late mother and in defense stabs her neck with a piece of broken porcelain. But it turns out it was her boyfriend and he dies. She thinks it’s one of Death Mirrors hallucinations because he calls her right after the stabbing. But according to Kaylie’s iPhone camera, which she uses to test what’s real and what’s a trick, that it really is her boyfriend. So what was the point of Death Mirror calling her AFTER she thought she killed him? Death Mirror is a lousy prankster.
Mirrors are really scary, right sis?

Mirrors are really scary, right sis?

  • So now the film is messing around with what’s a flashback and what’s a hallucination that I’m completely lost. Thanks movie and fuck you movie.
  • Back in 2002, Rory’s wife got possessed by the entity in the mirror and is insane and homicidal. Rory chains her up in the bedroom. But Rory is also under the influence of the mirror/entity. Is this entity THAT strong to possess or control two adults. Surprisingly, Kaylie and Tim are fine and trying to destroy the mirror. Wouldn’t the kids be easier targets?
  • So just like that, with very little build-up, Tim gets up from in front of the mirror and walks over to activate the kill switch for the mirror, which is a large blade on a swinging pole designed to smash it, and somehow Kaylie is there in front of the mirror and dies. Tim is then arrested and taken away, just like when he was younger when he was forced by his dad to shoot him. 
  • But what about all the well documented video footage of the room with the mirror that Kaylie had set up? Wouldn’t that help Tim in some way? It would at least prove that they were under some sort of hallucinating influence and Kaylie’s death was accidental.

Is It Actually Scary: It tries. It really does. But it’s an evil mirror that controls people to do heinous and evil things. If you can’t get past the stupid concept you’re lucky to get past the first half-hour.

How Much Gore: I don’t recall any other than the stabbing. I’m sure there’s some but it’s not a gore-fest in the least. 

Best Scene: I’m going to cheat and say the ending with the kill switch killing Kaylie in front of the mirror. In a very bland and silly horror movie any good death is going to trump anything else in the film. But…

Worst Scene: It’s also the worst scene because after 90+ minutes of buildup and wacky and unscary hallucinations, the best the filmmakers gave us was Tim gets up and decides to press a button and accidentally kills his sister. It’s so weak and anti-climatic in the way it was structured and presented. But a scene with two people and a mirror, there’s only so much you can do to wrap this asinine and boring movie up I suppose.

Every mirror is a death mirror to anyone with self-esteem issues.

Every mirror is a death mirror to anyone with self-esteem issues.

Any Nudity: Could’ve really made it artsy and erotic with the mirror images of some of the females changing clothes but nope. With all the mirror selfies these kids do these days you’d think that someone would use Death Mirror to snap a quick nudie or something along those lines. 

Overall: I really don’t know why I watched this movie. I suppose it was because of Karen Gillan who is easily one of the most gorgeous actresses that is impressing me with her role choices. She was Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy and I know she was on Doctor Who and she’s even the reason I’m watching the TV show Selfie. So I’m glad she’s branching out and becoming successful. But I should be smacking myself for allowing my attraction to her overstep my reluctance to seeing any horror movie made in the past 4 years—a wasteland of some of the worst of its kind! I’ve pretty much hated every horror movie made in recent years. I wish I can say that maybe in 10 years or so that these modern horror movies will evolve and age into decent schlock like so many of the movies we review on this site but I can’t really see that happening.

Any day now, Linklater will be calling me back for the Dazed & Confused sequel.

Any day now, Linklater will be calling me back for the Dazed & Confused sequel.

But back to Oculus, the Mirror That Eats, it’s just another example of bad acting, bad music, bad scares, bad kills and bad endings. They left it open for sequels and it made a butt-load of money so they’ll be an Oculus 4 in four years probably. The cinemasochist in me will probably see them too just to see what they do with Death Mirror because I can’t see them doing anything new to the story. It’s just going to go from new family to new family who have the mirror and the idiotic hallucinations they get from it until they kill someone. I mean, you can’t even root for this particular villain because it’s a fucking mirror! At least the Paranormal Activities has a demon and a cult as the villains. The Saw franchise had Jigsaw! I don’t mind wringing out every last dollar you can in making a franchise every year or so but don’t model your movie after an inanimate object like Death Bed!

Score: 2 Apple Light-Bulbs (out of 10)

12 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 23: Oculus

  1. I actually liked this one pretty well…although it could’ve been better. Still, I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s one of the better horror films of the year. Nice job, Brad! You guys crack me up over here.

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  2. Yes! Yes yes yes! Thank you, Brad! I’ve had so much abuse for trashing this one. And you were WAY more mean than I was. Lol. It’s just… NOT good. It really really isn’t. 😦 Another bad modern horror movie. I’m sick of them!

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