Oculus (2013)

OculusOculus is a suspense/horror movie from writer/director Mike Flanagan.  It jumps back and forth telling the horrific story of the Russell family, both in present day, and 12 years ago.  Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) has finally been released from a mental hospital following past events.  His sister Kaylie (Amy Pond Karen Gillan) is convinced a haunted antique mirror was the source of their family’s troubles, and is determined to prove it.  Reluctantly, Tim helps her in her plan, expecting what she really needs is help letting go of the past.

I think my expectations were a tad too high for this one.  I remember being moderately intrigued by the trailers, but never getting a chance to see it in theatres.  Moderate levels of praise kept my expectations tempered in the interim.  After learning Flanagan has been given a chance to write and direct Stephen King’s completely unfilmable Gerald’s Game, and that some people thought he was a good choice–largely because of this movie–it moved to the top of my To-See list.

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Brett Rutherford’s “The Lost Children”

Lost Children
Sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by it’s cover.  Look at that image.  Doesn’t really tell you much, does it?

But…

What if I told you that the skeleton, broken doll and book title are all beveled and embossed?

If you’ve ever read a mass-market fiction book from the ’80s, you’ll recognize those details.  Much like a soft white cover–with an oval cut out of it to reveal a hand painted portrait of a shirtless guy and a swooning woman–will let everyone know that a book is about fucking…  that embossed skeleton on black background tells the ’80s reader exactly what they’re getting into. 

HORRRR-RRROR

HORRRR-RRROR

What you’ve got here is a cheesey premise sketchily linking together a bunch of horror-ifying scenes.  Seriously.  Just look at that list of Tags down there.  This thing hits all the bases.  And it executes them all flawlessly hilariously.

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