Tim is about to be released from protective custody. We’re not quite sure what happened him and his sister ten years earlier, but we get a glimpse of them fleeing what seems to be their father. His sister, Kaylie, is working for an auction house. She’s engaged to be married, and seems to be doing well. But they have unfinished business.

But Kaylie and Tim have different memories of that traumatic night in their past. They disagree on what happened their mother and their father. Kaylie believes it was a supernatural entity residing in a mirror. Tim has spent years in therapy and knows that the mind can play all sorts of tricks on a person, especially when dealing with something so traumatic as parental violence.

Oculus dir. Mike Flanagan

Oculus dir. Mike Flanagan

Of course, as viewers, we know that this is a horror film. And we know that Kaylie is right. So the film, wisely, in my opinion doesn’t keep that tension going for too long. Instead we get flashbacks to the differing memories the siblings have. We get hints and flashes of what went on between their parents. And we get the slow build up of horror that is what I look for in a horror film.

This is no slasher film; there is no torture porn here. There is violence, don’t get me wrong, but it is of a different sort, more low grade and constantly building, until suddenly it isn’t low level violence at all.

Everything builds wonderfully in this film. The happy family that slowly isn’t happy any more. The memories coming back to Tim’s horror. The effects of the mirror on Kaylie and Tim as they try to document what is going on and how their parents were victims not perpetrators.

It is a very solid horror film, and all the actors are superb. I have to specifically mention the children, because they were really excellent, and they had quite a bit to do. I’m biased when it comes to Karen Gillan, I’ve loved her since I first saw her in Doctor Who, and obviously am also a fan of Starbuck as well. So I was more than happy with the cast.

If you like you horror more atmospheric than tortur-ific then I would recommend this film, it is worth seeing.

IMDB : Other reviews : The Movie Bit ; Nerdly

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