Now and then I run across a film that has a short run time. The majority of these films come in just under, or just over, the hour mark. I like the run time on such a movie, but not always the film itself, because I can watch it and get a review ready for it a little quicker. I know a half hour isn't that much longer, but when you factor in everything else I do during the day, I will gladly watch a shorter film. While I was looking for the trailer for Mirrors, I came across a comment that the film reminded them of a short film called Oculus. Being the curious type, I went looking for Oculus to see what it was about. To my surprise, Amazon has it available for purchase.
Oculus: Chapter 3 - The Man With The Plan (2006) is what writer/director Mike Flanagan calls the third part in a purposed nine part series about the Lasser Glass. I admit that I was a little confused when I got the DVD, because of the chapter three. Flanagan decided to film chapter three first, both because it would be the easiest to film on a low budget, and it would be the best of the nine to fill us in on the legend of the mirror. The setting is very simple, a small room with one actor and a mirror. The story itself is about Tim Russel (Scott Graham), and his quest to prove that the mirror his father once owned is evil. Tim has uncovered a history for the mirror that goes a long ways back. In the mirror's wake, there is a trail of death and strange disappearances. Twenty-two years ago, Tim's father (Matthew Reynolds) killed his wife and himself. The police ruled it a murder/suicide, but Tim believes that the mirror was the reason his father did those things. Now he is in a small, brightly lit room, with three cameras taping everything. Can he prove what he feels?
Oculus is about as simple as a horror movie can get I think. There are no big special effects to be found here. The only effects to be found are some of the people we see towards the end. This was fine with me. Not every movie needs a lot of effects to get the point across. In fact, Oculus does just fine in getting the point across, considering it has a run time of only thirty-two minutes. I'm having a hard time talking about this one, since I can't say a lot without giving too much away. Oculus has been given a lot of rewards on the movie festival circuit so far. Mostly for best short film and best actor. I do have to give credit to Matthew Reynolds. The film rests entirely on his performance, and he took that and ran with it. He does give it his all. We see him run through almost every emotion you can think of, and he pulls it off.
I haven't found a lot of reviews for Oculus, but the ones I have found all say it is one of the best films out there hands down. I hate to go against the flow, but I have to. While I did find the film interesting, I didn't find it to be scary, and I sure can't say it is the best. Everyone loves that the entire film takes place in a brightly lit room, which is not completely true, but I won't spoil that for anyone. I admire that Mike Flanagan decided to do something a little different. It does work, but I just didn't find what happens in the film scary. Am I really getting that jaded?
3 out of 5 I never find anything scary in my mirrors either
5 days ago