Oculus (2013)
October 22, 2018 6:38 AM - Subscribe

A woman tries to exonerate her brother's murder conviction by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon. From Mike Flanagan, the writer/director of The Haunting of Hill House. Stars Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff. An expansion of Flanagan's short film Oculus: Chapter Three, The Man with the Plan.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're just scanning all of these posts on Mike Flanagan's stuff, be advised that Oculus is by far the most similar in tone and style to The Haunting of Hill House. It's a bit more of a hard R in terms of scares and gore, but it absolutely has the nonlinear haunted family saga thing and the sinister tricksy force trying to undo them thing. In spades.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:18 AM on October 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

That comparison definitely bumps Hill House up to watch sooner!

The scene in which apples are compared to lightbulbs stands out in my memory as one of the most a horror flick has made me squirm in a long while.
posted by Drastic at 9:02 AM on October 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

This one is an underrated gem. Did not get the recognition it deserved on release. It’s a really well constructed movie with strong central performances. I like Flanagan’s movies because they tend to go for dread and creepiness over (too many) manufactured jump scares.

I love horror movies but can genuinely struggle to watch them and Flanagan rides that line perfectly for my sensibilities.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2018

I liked this all right, but I kept thinking the mirror is too powerful. It has so much control over them and so much ability to read their minds and fuck with them that it took away some of the drama. I haven't seen any of Haunting of Hill House but it sounds like Mike Flanagan likes monsters who play with their food.
posted by fleacircus at 9:45 PM on October 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've been a huge fan of Oculus for a while and was thrilled that Hill House was basically Oculus expanded to ten hours (and three more siblings).

I love that Flanagan's take on evil entities (be they mirror or house) is not so much "they will kill you," but "they will take control of your senses, make you see things that aren't there and not see things that are there, and drive you into a maddened state which leads you to destroy yourself and the ones you love."

And by the way, guess where the mirror from Oculus ended up?
posted by ejs at 9:12 PM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

We watched this last night with the kiddo and it really holds up.

I did tell them to avert their eyes during the apple/light bulb sequence, though.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:50 AM on November 2, 2021

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