Oculus comes with an original premise that’s wasted on unoriginal scares.

A woman attempts to exonerate her brother by proving that their parents’ murder was caused by an evil entity residing in an antique mirror.

Oculus has a fresh twist to the evil mirror narrative. This time around the haunted is the one out for a vengeance. The set-up looks silly but actually turns out to be clever.

Kaylie rigs up their old home in an attempt to capture  the big bad on video, whom she thinks is really responsible for the death of her parents. Tim, who got the blame as a kid, just wants to move on but soon gets his skepticism tested.

The film elicits scares from drumming up a sense of dread and uneasiness by manipulating its characters’ minds. Intersecting past childhood recollections and the present, Oculus muddles the line between reality and perception.

However, the scares are all too familiar as the film picks up the pace. Oculus reminds us again that parents are susceptible to unseen forces if they’re cooped up in the house. This would have been forgivable if the vengeful spirit is memorable. The big bad in Oculus is just the typical long-haired creepy eyed ghost who has managed to get some “friends” along the way.

Overall Oculus does offer a refreshing take on a familiar horror story by approaching it from different angle. But the simplistic villain and borrowed scares keep it as a mediocre atmospheric horror movie.

My Rating: 5/10

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