If you adore the thrill of expectation that occurs when you sit down to a master storyteller, then you would do well to plan to see the movie, Oculus, when it opens nationwide on April 11th!
Rest assured, this is not a film that’s designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator of grist-mill horror, but raises the bar for what horror can doÂ and what it should be.Â Don’t come expecting cheap tricks and tired sight gags–instead, expect smart writing, great acting, dark questions, and a truly dangerous artifact.
The reason this is an editorial and not part of the official review is because I have a rather unique perspective on Mike Flanagan and the Oculus franchise.
Although it makes its big screen debut in just over a week, I discovered the world of the deadly mirror through Mike Flanagan’s short film, Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan, when he submitted it to our sister filmmaking site, MicroFilmmaker Magazine, in 2006. A 30 minute film created in a single room with a single actor for $2,000 swept you into a mystical embrace of powerful storytelling and seriously thrilling scares. The short film got a 9.5 from the critic who reviewed it, while I personally gave a feature he did a 9.7, and, his last film, Absentia, received a perfect 10 from yet another critic at our filmmaking magazine.
Eight years later, Flanagan is bringing Oculus to the big screen with the help of some amazingly talented actors and actresses, including Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochraine, Karen Gillan, and Brenton Thwaites, amongst many others. (He’s even bringing back the star of the original short film, Scott Graham, in a special cameo.)
Having seen his evolution over the years, my money is on Mike Flanagan becoming the Christopher Nolan of the Horror/Suspense world!
But don’t take my word on it, take a look at what the folks at Fearnet.com had to say in their SXSW review of Oculus.
And check out the teaser (which gives you more of a feel of the style of storytelling) and the full trailer below: