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The Chive


   The funniest, nastiest movie reviews anywhere.


The big, bad bogeyman in Oculus is, I kid you not, a mirror.  Some bits of wood and shiny glass.  That's it.  Are you fucking kidding me?! 

"Watch out!  That mirror's gonna get you!" said no one.  Ever.

Yup, Hollywood has officially given up.  They're not even paying a stuntman scale to put on a hockey mask and hack up hapless campers anymore.  These days, producers and directors just look around their offices and cast as a monster whatever piece of furniture catches their eye.  Next up from Universal:  Slay-Z-BoyComfort . . . to die for. 

And when a killer mirror is one of the least nonsensical things about your movie, you, sir, have fucked up on a Nixon-ian level.  For instance, Tim (Brenton Thwaites, if that is your real name) has spent the past 11 years locked up in a nut house because he killed his dad who, in fairness, had just killed Tim's mom.  On the very . . . first . . . day . . . after the State says, "Thanks for coming.  Good luck.  Try not to kill anyone else." and sends Tim on his way, his sister, Kaylie (Karen Gillan), begs him to return to the scene of the crime and destroy the evil mirror she blames for killing their parents.  Tim, who is apparently idiot-ing at a graduate school level, agrees to go.

While Tim was mastering the Thorazine Shuffle, Kaylie has been a busy, little, red-pelted beaver.  And by "busy" I mean there's no possible way in this crazy-ass universe that she gets all the moving parts of her ridiculously elaborate plan to come together (heh, heh) on the exact night her brother flies the booby hatch. 

Unless she's really . . . a witch! 

Think about it.  Without being Satan's slut, how else could she manage to locate the accursed mirror, arrange for it to be auctioned at the auction house where she works, steal the mirror during the tiny window of time it's in town for the auction, transport it to her and Tim's childhood home, turn Murder House into a combination fallout shelter/Apple ad and convince her dumbass little brother to join in the supernatural shitlickery rather than, say, getting laid on his first night of freedom since he was 10 years old?

Burn the witch!

Sure, Gillan is a sexy Scottish lass, but no one's going to watch her glower at a mirror for the length of an entire movie - even when she looks hilariously like she's about to puff out her chest, throw back her arms and tell the mirror to, "Come at me, bro!" at any moment.  So, Oculus spends about half its running time on the fateful, completely avoidable and, ultimately, meaningless night when little Kaylie and Timmy could suddenly have ice cream for breakfast every day and stay up as late as they wanted.

Before their plot-logic-disembowling deaths, the kids' parents are played by Slater from Dazed and Confused (Rory Cochrane) and Battlestar Galactica's own Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff).  You can cut his hair and put a big ol' six shooter in his hand, but Cockring, er, Cochrane will always be the goofy stoner rockin' the ganj for Linklater.  Which is to say that he's about as threatening as an asthmatic puppy. 

To cap off this improbability fest, which Mensa member over at the WWE Studios (yeah, that WWE) decided that - despite having an R rating to work with, hordes of fanboys eager to fork over their last, sweaty, Dorito-dusted dollars for a glimpse of Gillan's melons, and Jackoff's, sorry, Sackhoff's proven willingness to drop blou - Oculus should be a tits-free affair?  Whoever it was, he's either gay or should seriously look into it.

And yes, though Cinemavenger usually takes aim at new theatrical releases, Oculus just came out on video.  You got a problem with that?  Let me count the fucks I don't give. 

1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . .

Because this is not bowling.  There are no rules.

September 7, 2014