Oculus: Blind Movie Review

My mother needed convincing. I used some of my best, most thought-out arguments:

Karen Gillian, my hero.

Karen Gillan, my hero.

“Mom, I am 17-years-old. I can handle an R-rated movie.”

“Mom, Rotten Tomatoes says there’s hardly any sex and only mild language! Blood and guts ain’t got nuthin’ on me!”

“Mom, Karen Gillan is in it! … What do you mean, you don’t know who Karen Gillan is?! Amy Pond? Doctor Who?! That Scottish chick with red hair!? You don’t remember Karen?!! Mom, she played an integral part in my life the last few years! How could you not know who she is?! I want to support her. I need to support her.”

Finally, my mom conceded because I’m such a great convincer.

Later that day, I slipped out of the Good Friday church service at 7:35 p.m. and into the crowded theater at 7:51 p.m. I later apologized to Jesus.

When I proudly told the ticket lady that I wanted one student ticket to Oculus, she asked for my ID. I pulled it out of my handmade duct tape wallet, and the lady proceeded to look at it for a really long time, possibly due to it coming  out of a handmade duct tape wallet. To speed up the process, I leaned over, winked and whispered, “I am definitely 17.”

I felt like I could totally handle it.

I felt like I could totally handle it.

With ticket finally in hand, I met up with some of my pals from the Free Press, and we made our way to the best seats in the house.

If I said that I completely watched my first R-rated horror film last night, I would be lying. Because, the truth is, I didn’t watch most of it. Halfway through, I started intently staring at the palms of my hands and the tops of my knees and only looked up when the music wasn’t too intense. Apparently, I’m not very good at scary movies, and blood and guts do have somethin’ on me.

Because I didn’t actively watch all of the film, I’m calling this a “blind movie review.”

Let me start my review by saying the sound effects were great. I was especially a fan of the blood gurgling sounds and the heart racing music. Also, when the demon-possessed dad guy tells his daughter, “I have seen Satan, and I am he,” I thought editing did a fantastic job of layering his voice with creepy ghost whispers.

The movie had a wonderful buildup, which I appreciated. For the first thirty minutes, the film creators really had me convinced that I was gonna make it. I feel as though my 10 dollar ticket didn’t fully go to waste because I was able to watch the first 20-25 minutes just fine.


Bradley Steven Perry

young tim

Garrett Ryan


I enjoyed the storytelling style, with the story jumping between adult siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillian) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites) Russel and their childhood selves, played by Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan. At first I thought Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry) from Disney’s Good Luck, Charlie played young Tim, which would’ve been quite a shift for a Disney star, but I was wrong. Those two are doppelgangers for sure, though.

I thought the plot was clever, paralleling the past with events that occur about fifteen years later. Both in past in present, climax builds with a creepy monster mirror altering reality to prey off of the Russel family’s life force. The mirror’s other interests include killing plants and scaring dogs.

Director Mike Flanagan eased the story into violence, starting with the dad accidentally digging into his finger with a staple remover because the demon in the mirror messed with his mind. Judging from my friends’ later reactions, it got worse from there, but I’m not positive because that was where I stopped watching, actually.

I will now review the times in the second half of the movie where I peaked between my fingers.

When adult Kaylie bit into a lightbulb instead of an apple, I thought the blood was very realistic.

When young Kaylie and Tim’s mom tries to eat her own arm, I thought the blood was very realistic.

When Tim tries to call for help and the demon intercepts the phone call, I thought Brenton Thwaites had very nice eyes.

The movie took a long time to get to the end, and I spend most of the last hour-and-a-half wanting my mommy and some ice cream.

I give Oculus a 7/10 because the movie was horrifying enough (even without the visual effects) that I still had to force my little brother to sleep in the trundle part of my bed for comfort. I also had to take two lighthearted Buzzfeed quizzes and watch one episode of Parks and Recreation  to regulate my heartbeat and dispel most of my unhappy feelings.


I live tweeted the event:

At least I still have my dignity.


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