Back of the box: Seeing is deceiving in this disturbingly original horror flick that
reflects heart-stopping terror as you’ve never imagined! It’s been ten years since
the lives of siblings Tim and Kaylie Russell were shattered and Tim was convicted of
murdering their parents. Now released from a mental institution, Tim wants to move on,
but his sister has other plans. Kaylie blames their childhood nightmare on the
Lasser Glass – an antique mirror with a grisly history – which she intends to destroy by
any means possible, even as the mysterious entity continues to cast sinister spells on anyone who gazes into it.
This psychological horror film stars Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites as the adult versions of brother and sister Tim and Kaylie. I will call out the blurb writer on one thing: this type of story has been done before in such films as The Amityville Horror and its third sequel.
As the film opens, we see a dream sequence showing younger Tim and Kaylie scared in front of a mirror, and they pan up to show older Tim holding a gun to them. He tells his doctor, who is now convinced Tim is ready to join back in with society and permanently check out of the rubber-padded hotel.
It’s alluded to that his sister’s fiancÃ© works for a auction house, where the Lasser Glass is being auctioned off.
She uses this situation to regain possession of the mirror.
After reuniting with her brother, she attempts to convince him that the mirror has a history of being owned by people who met death under odd, violent and sometimes self inflicted means. He in turn tries to convince her that they were very young and what they think happened was just a result of their young minds attempting to cope.
Kaylie does the smartest thing I’ve seen, in that she sets up a pretty elaborate surveillance system with several cameras and timers to remind them to change the tapes, eat and drink, as well as to reset an egg timer hooked to a anchor attached to the ceiling poised to crash through the mirror as a failsafe. Thankfully this isn’t a found footage film… although it could have easily been one, and not been as effective.
The film does a series of flashbacks done in a such a way that I could see some people being confused by the way it’s handled, however I feel that the way it’s presented is pretty easy for the average film watcher to be able to follow.
Basically, the mirror is possessed and slowly takes over their father who has the mirror hanging in his office. he also starts spending a LOT of time in the office and ends up dragging his wife in – and she is taken over by the mirror’s influence.
The mirror also has the ability to fool those around it. One more famous scene (briefly shown in the trailer) is Kaylie biting into a light bulb that she thinks is an apple. There are a lot of “mind screw” moments in this film that keep you guessing on what is truly happening and what is an illusion brought on by the mirror.
The mirror starts to also affect the flashbacks by making the siblings relive the moments, and even pairing up older and younger versions of themselves which may or may not have actually taken place.
I’ve seen some films try to pull off this kind of story, but never achieving it the way Oculus does.
I first learned about this from Brad Jones’ Midnight Screenings video for the movie. and they said nothing but good things about it. (I intend to go back and watch that video again.)
In the end…if you want to see a great psycho/horror film that’s actually light on gore, heavy on atmosphere, with an awesome story, then by all means check this out.
If I had to rate it, then let me steal from Decker Shado and say I give it four staple removers out of five.(watch the movie to get the reference). It’s definitely worth a rental and as October is coming up, wait ’till midnight, turn off the lights and give it a watch.
Until next time: make sure that when you stare into the mirror…it’s not staring back.