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You see what it wants you to see. 

Year: 2013 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Mike Flanagan 
Starring: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff  
An image from Oculus

Kaylie Russell (Karen Gillan) tries to prove that her brother Tim (Brenton Thwaites), recently discharged from a mental hospital, is innocent of murder; believing that the death and misfortune her family have suffered is due to an antique mirror infused with the supernatural. Having looked into the mirror’s history, she is convinced that it is evil and is determined to destroy it before it can do any more harm.

This story fuses the past with the present almost seamlessly – the disjointedness and the flashbacks mix into a very interesting tale. Don’t expect the usual slew of horror, full of gore and nubile teenagers being slaughtered by a masked lunatic – this is very much a slow burn horror film, with the feeling of tension and dread ramping up as the tale progresses. The movie makes you question what is real – it messes with your mind, and it is psychologically terrifying. As you watch, there is a conscious feeling of uneasiness that gets you, and a palpable atmosphere becomes ever more present.

The acting is top rate, so you genuinely care about the characters' fate – it is well crafted and holds your interest throughout. With a number of jump scares and a ratcheting up of the suspense throughout - and with a bit of blood splattered here and there - horror fans won’t be let down. It’s one of those rare films that could keep you up at night. However, it’s also an intelligent, well-written film, providing a rewarding experience - not to mention a disturbing and creepy one. You won’t be disappointed if you come to see it.

Reece Goodall

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Screenings of this film:

2014/2015 Autumn Term (digital)