Oculus – 3.75 stars

The trend away from gore porn and toward chilling, moody scary movies remains welcome.  Oculus is a worthy fingers-over-the-eyes addition, in the mold of The Conjuring, and sporting a clever storyline that tracks, and intersects, the childhood trauma of two kids whose house was haunted by a spooky mirror and their attempts as adults to destroy it.  The execution is crisp and even ingenious, and the child actors (Annalise Basso and Garret Ryan) are superb.  As to the flaws, there is one, and it is a rather big one, but I can’t reveal it without telling too much.  Suffice it to say that it falls under the “Well, if X, then why the hell would they do Y?” variety.  It’s a testament to the skill of writer/director Mike Flanagan (born, I shi** you not, in Salem, Massachusetts) that I was able to shelve the issue and just sit back and enjoy the film.

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