Oculus

oculus

‘Oculus’ revitalizes supernatural horror with an essential dose of heart and smarts

Thanks to the likes of James Wan, paranormal horror is all the rage. From Paranormal Activity to Insidious and The Conjuring, audiences are irretrievably hooked to tales of nuclear families being bloodlessly menaced by only-fleetingly-visible entities of malicious intent. What’s remarkable about Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, which follows his no-budget wonder Absentia, is how it manages to wring genuine dread from a beyond-worn subgenre simply by paying close attention to the realities of its deeply troubled characters. Oculus functions equally well as a tragic psychodrama as it does a horror film.

TIFF 2013: ‘Oculus’ is one of the best American horror films of the past decade

It is rarer than unicorn octuplets these days to encounter a genuinely creepy, refreshingly inventive horror film given the genre’s remorseless penchant for unleashing increasingly formulaic sequels or cannibalistic remakes of past atrocities, so the inclusion of Oculus in the Midnight Madness strand of the Toronto Film Festival seems destined to delight fans of things that go bump in the night. This is a terrifically creepy and genuinely innovative addition to the inventory.

TIFF 2013: ‘Oculus’ revitalizes supernatural horror with an essential dose of heart and smarts

Thanks to the likes of James Wan, paranormal horror is all the rage. From Paranormal Activity to Insidious and The Conjuring, audiences are irretrievably hooked to tales of nuclear families being bloodlessly menaced by only-fleetingly-visible entities of malicious intent. What’s remarkable about Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, which follows his no-budget wonder Absentia, is how it manages to wring genuine dread from a beyond-worn subgenre simply by paying close attention to the realities of its deeply troubled characters. Oculus functions equally well as a tragic psychodrama as it does a horror film.

Scroll to Top