The horror thriller "Oculus" is frustrating, because it wastes a great premise by falling down on its own internal logic.
The story centers on Tim (Brenton Thwaites), released from a mental institution at 21 for — as a 10-year-old — shooting his father dead, and Tim’s sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan, late of TV’s "Doctor Who"), who was 12 when their father died and is obsessed with finding the truth about that night. That truth, she’s convinced, revolves around an antique mirror that has taken lives before and is hungry for more.
Opens Friday, April 11, at theaters everywhere; rated R for terror, violence, some disturbing images and brief language; 104 minutes.
Kaylie persuades Tim to spend a night in their old house, where Dad (Rory Cochrane) and Mom (Katee Sackhoff) met terrible ends, with computers and cameras to monitor the mirror’s bad deeds.
Director/co-writer Mike Flanagan creates a creepy atmosphere and moves fluidly between events now and 11 years before (with Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan as the siblings as kids). But Flanagan sets the rules for this supernatural setting only to break them, turning what could have been terrifying into something merely annoying.
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