OCULUS: CHAPTER 3 – THE MAN WITH THE PLAN (Short Film, 2006) Review


Directed by Mike Flanagan
Written by Mike Flanagan & Jeff Seidman
Starring Scott Graham

If you didn’t notice from the above interview, I liked OCULUS a lot. Not only is it an original slice of horror, but proof that there is hope for this genre yet and that you don’t need a big budget or bigger stars to make a good horror film. OCULUS plays like a stage play, set in one room, with one actor. It’s a small film with big ideas. In thirty-one minutes, OCULUS does what most mainstream horror film rarely do in and hour and a half…scare the shit out of me.

OCULUS tells the tale of a mirror that appears to be cursed, or at least that’s what the sole actor in this film, Scott Graham, believes. Graham is effective in this role as a nervous yet driven man devoted to solving the riddle of the mirror. The reasons for Graham’s dedication are revealed later in the film, but at first, he seems like a dedicated scientist who has carefully set up cameras, food rations, recording equipment, and telephones in order to prove that something is weird about this mirror. The scene is set so well in this film as Graham reports the history of the mirror into the camera. The stories are so twisted and vividly explained that you can’t help but be sucked into the story. Without one special effect in those first ten minutes of this film, OCULUS had me riveted to the edge of my chair with some smart writing from director/writer Mike Flanagan (and Jeff Seidman) and perfect delivery from Scott Graham.

OCULUS is a near perfect short film. It introduces a terrifying mystery and pulls back the curtain just enough to send shivers down your spine. I’m excited to hear this short will be made into a full length feature. Before it hits theaters in 2012, you should check out OCULUS. I guarantee you’ll be scared at what you see in this mirror.

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