Lessons From…Oculus

Alright back to regular blogging after a long November session of NaNoWriMo. I won by the way. Last statement was not a humblebrag or anything because screw humility! Winning NaNo was hard and I did it! Anyhow back to the regularly scheduled blogging.

I love a good horror film. There is just something about the sensation of fear and terror in the comfort and safety of your own home. The problem is that most horror films fail to deliver. True horror is hard and few films can really bring the sense of dread that is needed.

Because of this, I did not have high hopes for OculusHonestly, I decided to watch it mostly because it starred Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff.

I mean can you blame me?

I mean can you blame me?

So I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually rather good. Now, to be fair, the film does have some flaws, like any movie, but overall the suspense is present and rises at the right moments. And the ending is rather satisfying for a horror film. Don’t worry as always I’ll try not to ruin anything to major, but beware of SPOILERS.

I missed this image.

I missed this image.

The movie takes place during two connected time periods with the central characters, a brother and sister (played by Brenton Thwaites and Karen Gillan respectively), being the anchor of both timelines. The audience experiences the events of both these timelines through this brother and sister duo.

In the past timeline, they are children who have just moved into a new home with their mother and father. They are the standard, generic, loving middle class white family. That is until the father acquires an antique mirror and weird stuff starts happening. Small things at first that grow into larger, more terrifying events that eventually culminate in the deaths of the mother and father.

In the present timeline, the brother and sister are adults and have returned to their childhood home with the mirror in tow. They know that this object is somehow responsible for the horrors they witnessed and they have vowed to destroy the evil that lives within the glass.


I mean look at that thing. It’s fucking terrifying.

Of course, this is a horror film, so all their plans about how to defeat this thing and finally avenge their family goes to shit. Seriously, watch the film just for the ending and you’ll understand why the best horror films have the protagonist lose their battles.

Which brings us to two lessons to take from this film: 1. Incomprehensible evil exists and it sometimes wins. Yeah, I know. It sucks but it is true. There are some acts and people and events that devastate us and make us lose just a little bit of faith in humanity. We try to explain these occurrences with science, religion, ideology, or whatever mantra we hold fast to. Sometimes they work, but many times we are just left more confused than before. The fact of the matter is that horrible things have always happened and will continue to happen. The most we can hope for is that these acts do not destroy us and that perhaps we  learn and grow from them.

2. Sometimes we should simply forget the past and move on because there is no going back. The crux of the film, and its conclusion, revolves around the promise Kaylie and Tim (the sister and brother duo) made to each other. They cannot let go of the past and what happened to them. They vowed to fight back and beat the monster in the mirror. However, by the time they get their chance to do so, both are living pretty good lives. They have grown up and have managed to grow to some extent, but they revert back to their mission once the opportunity strikes. The mirror has not really caused much, if any, harm since their family, and it is actually their obsession with it that restarts its dark power.

Had they left the mirror alone and legitimately tried to move on with their lives, both characters would have fruitful and fulfilling lives instead of how they end up by the film’s conclusion. Many times it is not our past that impedes our progress but our obsession with our past and unwillingness to let it go (DO NOT MAKE A FROZEN REFERENCE!). Usually our inability to move on is what causes our downfall. Forget what happened or who hurt you, take what you can from it, and grow stronger, smarter, and better from it.

Thus endeth today’s lessons.


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