By Dr. Know on April 12th, 2014

Critic Reviews for Oculus

via Rotten Tomatoes

A deeply silly and mildly effective horror movie about two young-adult siblings coping with the mysterious deaths of their parents.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail
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For a horror movie, Oculus is surprisingly lean on the scares. It’s more interested in playing tricks with perception and bending reality.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: ReelViews

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It’s just a little vague, a little familiar, a little fake.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

Newark Star-Ledger
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“Oculus” is haunting because it messes with your head. That’s where the ghosts are.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Detroit News

Detroit News
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What makes Oculus ingenious is how Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard take this hackneyed storyline and twist it – round ‘n’ round – ad infinitum into a dizzying corkscrew of a narrative.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Inquirer
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The elegant use of wide screen can’t totally obscure stiff acting, and the rug pulling finally seems arbitrary. When nothing can be trusted, the mirage of suspense disappears.

April 10, 2014Full Review Source: New York Times

New York Times
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In that respect, Oculus makes cinematic history: the first known use of Chekhov’s yacht anchor.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Houston Press

Houston Press

While not as frightening or overall effective as Insidious, The Conjuring or Sinister, Oculus is still a fun ride for fans of horror films.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: 7M Pictures

7M Pictures

The unique stylistic approach to haunted house horror will be a novelty to fans of the genre – just don’t be disappointed when it all ends with a fizzle instead of a bang.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: ScreenRant


Oculus’ real weapon is its flashbacks, which aren’t specifically used as flashbacks but rather as illusions and nightmares forced upon the characters by the mirror’s evil.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media

This supernatural spellbinder succeeds at disorienting the viewer with a cleverly structured screenplay, but it never quite manages to frighten despite some solid tension and eerie imagery.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide

TV Guide’s Movie Guide

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who the dumbest mirror movie of all? Should have remained a short.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Boston Herald

Boston Herald

Oculus is one of the damn scariest movies in years.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Nerdist


Oculus is a pleasingly creepy low-budget horror flick that plays with some interesting ideas, offers a fresh and unique structure, and understands that some questions are best left unanswered.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: IGN Movies

IGN Movies

There’s plenty to rattle you in Oculus, a supernatural thriller that doesn’t make 100 per cent sense, exactly, but leaves you deeply disturbed.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Canada.com


Are you willing to put up with an otherwise excellent frightfest even if it limps to that finish line after sprinting for an hour-plus?

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Topless Robot

Topless Robot

Flanagan never overplays his hand with gore or cheap thrills.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer

It deserves credit for seamlessly blending timelines and perspectives, but its mind games just fail to deliver proper scares. Oculus aimed to be the next Insidious, but it is actually nothing more than a reflective mess.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Examiner.com


Flanagan sets the rules for this supernatural setting only to break them, turning what could have been terrifying into something merely annoying.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake Tribune

It’s a ghost story, and remains true to its roots with an eerie ending, but after such an intense, determined introduction, the way the feature just trails off instead of storms off feels disappointingly anticlimactic.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com


The strongest horror movie since Cabin in the Woods and a testament to what this genre can do in the hands of a real expert.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Mania.com


Oculus is frighteningly good and light years better than most of the crap passed off as horror these days.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Tri-City Herald

Tri-City Herald

The power of Oculus lies in its female leads – three generations of red-headed ladies who each bring fiery passion to this slow-burning, demonic-possession story.

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com


I can’t say I was ever bored and there are enough decent jolts and creepy moments to hold one’s interest. (Full Content Review for Parents also Available)

April 11, 2014Full Review Source: Screen It!

Screen It!
View all critic reviews (74)