You’ve never seen vanity like this before.

I’m talking about the supernatural kind, the kind that kills.  The best part about it,
the malevolent force that resides in an antique mirror works through you.  You’re
the one that does the killing.

It all depends on what side of the mirror you’re standing on.

You’ll know you’re on the right side if your memory flashes images of the past and
you question whether what you’re seeing is what really happened.

Are you frightened yet?  Maybe you’re a little confused.  If you find yourself
struggling with both while still being engrossed by a complex storyline, you’re
exactly where director Michael Flanagan wants you to be.  In 2013, Flanagan gave
us an intense psychological thriller known as "Oculus."

I’m the Haunting Usher.  Let me scare you to your seat.

A brother and sister work together to ultimately destroy a malevolent supernatural
force residing within an antique mirror that terrorized them both eleven years
earlier.  Both the adult and child actors complement one another with their
performances.  They are consistent, brave and sincere.

The story involves the recounting of tragic events as well as family members
succumbing to demonic influences.  “I’ve met my demons and they are many,” the
father says.  “I’ve seen the devil, and he is me.”

Filmmakers use clever tricks of cinematography and excessive shifts in time to
move the plot backwards and forward.  If you’re a fan of frequent flashbacks, this
movie is definitely for you.

While Flanagan presents the first major transition into the past in a way that’s
conveniently obvious, the memory itself is so brief and the following transition so
vague, it’s as though you experience a moment of viewer vertigo.  You find
yourself trying to catch up with what’s going on in present after being suddenly
thrown back into it.

"Oculus" wastes no time creating awkward tension between the characters.  When
Brenton Thwaites, who plays Tim Russell, a young man who has spent eleven years
in an asylum, reunites with his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillam) it is foreseeable that she
will sabotage his recovery.

“I found it,” Kaylie says.  She waits barely an hour after her brother is released to
tell him she has located the spiritually concentrated mirror and reminds him how he
ended up getting locked away in the first place.  “We only have a few days to keep
our promise, to kill it.”

Drama and suspense are heightened when Tim accompanies Kaylie on her
obsessive compulsive crusade to unveil the truth about the mirror.  They catch
themselves on camera doing things they don’t remember doing like moving dead
plants around the room and shouting at one another.

Sibling rivalry ensues.

Will their combined efforts be enough to vanquish the deadly entity?  Will they
finish what they started?  Or will they be standing on the wrong side of the mirror?

I’m the Haunting Usher.  Let me scare you back to full recovery.  I promise it will be
all right.

Do you agree with my review?  What kind of supernatural experiences have you
had while handling antique objects?  Let me know in the comments section.
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