It's not every weekend that you see a horror movie getting passing marks from critics, but "Oculus" appears the be an exception. The reviews for the mirror-centric thriller starring Karen Gillan ("Guardians of the Galaxy") are generally positive, but critics can't seem to agree how scary it actually is.
Read more about what the critics are saying about "Oculus" in our review roundup below!
"The script takes the time to make us care about the fates of a brother and a sister we meet first in flashback, then 11 years later. In the prologue, young Kaylie (Annalise Basso) and Tim (Garrett Ryan) are beset in their home by... we're not sure, exactly.... The adult Tim — charged with the murder of his parents that long-ago night — is about to be released from a mental institution. He's played by promising Australian actor Brenton Thwaites; in the key role, "Dr. Who" alum Karen Gillan is the adult Kaylie, driver of the narrative, determined to prove her brother's innocence." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"There are scares, but also characters; the camerawork is elegant, but so is the plotting; the best moments in it are about subtlety, not scarlet-hued fake blood hurling out of the screen at you; it builds real suspense as part of a coherent story while still dishing out plenty of surprises seemingly at random to jolt you with jumps along the way." — James Rocchi, Film.com
"The only significant flaw is that the mirror never really develops much personality of its own; it's just something bad. There's a seemingly dominant ghoul glimpsed occasionally, but she just resembles another glowing-eyed, stringy-haired ghost like her past victims, which in turn look like a lot of recent "Ring"-modeled horror specters." — Dennis Harvey, Variety
The Final Word
"Facing childhood trauma can be like a trip through the looking glass. And in "Oculus," it is literally just that. Viewers are quickly drawn into the unsettling and well-acted story of a haunted antique mirror that takes siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites) back to the harrowing tragedy of their parents' grisly deaths." — Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Oculus" opens in theaters on April 10.