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Oculus | 2014 | R | - 3.7.5

A 10-year-old boy (Brenton Thwaites) was convicted of murdering his parents and after a decade he's is now free at age 21. His sister (Karen Gillan) always felt haunted by the night their parents (Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane) died and thought that supernatural powers escaped and were responsible for the crime. Also with James Lafferty. Directed by Mike Flanagan. [1:45]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A little boy tells his mother that he saw a lady in his father's office and that she lives there; we see a scene through the office window in which a woman's hands reach down and rub the clothed chest of the father who is seated while another scene shows a woman sitting on top of the desk and the father in a chair and they are kissing. A man and a woman kiss briefly at an auction and in an office (they are engaged and living together) and we see them in bed side-by-side with their bared shoulders and arms above the covers; the man kisses the woman goodnight on the temple.
 A woman stands before a bathroom mirror in a soft shirt, open from neck to panty waistband and we see the inner curves of her breasts and a long C-Section scar (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) as she stares at it. A woman wears a sleeveless blouse with a V-neck that reveals cleavage. A woman wears a thick nightgown that displays a little cleavage. A woman wears shorts that reveal most of her bare thighs. In a dream, a woman wears pink baby-doll pajamas that bare her full legs to the thighs, shoulders and cleavage. A woman's skirt ends just below mid-thigh, revealing bare lower thighs and legs. Sitting in a hallway, a woman wears a long dress that rises up to reveal her bare legs to the thighs.
 A man tells a woman that their father had an affair and the woman refuses to believe it. A woman calls her pre-teen daughter "fruit of my loins."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A woman in a trance picks up a broken piece of pottery and stabs a man in the throat; blood runs down his shirt as he sinks to a sitting position on the floor, dead. A man chokes a woman and then strangles her from behind; they sink to the floor and she goes limp; the couple's pre-teen son and daughter open the door and cry as they look on, but the father says that their mother is OK.
 A boy and a girl lock themselves in a bathroom as their mother pounds on the door loudly from the other side, the children escape and see the woman elsewhere in the house as she speaks in their father's voice, telling them not to run and the father enters the room with a pistol, grabs the daughter and chokes her after shooting his wife in the stomach and chest (we see some blood flow); the father points the gun at the girl and the boy smashes a golf club down on his arm, crying, and picks up the pistol, the man sinks to his knees, tells the boy to fire the gun, then reaches forward and pushes the boy's thumb, discharging the gun into his own chest (the man falls dead in some blood); the girl jumps out a second story window, grabs her knee in pain on the ground, and runs away from the house, meeting police that drive up to it.
 A woman in a mirror extends her arms into a room and embraces another woman; the camera pans back and we see the blade of an anchor sticking in the back of the younger woman's head, then we see a replay of video footage in a computer screen of the anchor snapping down from the ceiling on a metal bar and slamming into the woman's lower skull and upper neck; a man screams and we see the woman trembling, pinned to the mirror with blood pouring form her mouth until she closes her eyes and dies as sirens sound and we see flashing lights reflecting in the mirror as police arrive.
 A man tells his son and daughter that their mother is sick and not to go in her bedroom; the little girl enters the room, sees some spots of dried blood on the bed, clothing strewn about and broken plaster on the floor, and as she walks farther into the room a woman lunges at her from the floor, trying to grab her throat and we see that the woman is chained to the wall by a dog collar and chain; the girl screams and runs out of the room. A woman chokes her pre-teen daughter on the floor and the woman's husband knocks her unconscious (we see the woman slide off screen). A woman peering into an old mirror begins to smile and turns to a little girl standing behind her; she grabs the girl by the throat, knocks her down, chokes her and finally lets go, and then chokes her young son; the children run, screaming and lock themselves in a bedroom.
 A woman picks up a light bulb and takes a bite of the glass, cutting her mouth and tongue; she pulls out a large bloody piece of glass and the bulb turns into an apple. A woman covered in dirt crawls over the floor, picks up a shard of pottery from a broken vase and eats it; we hear crunching and see blobs of blood fall to the floor from her bloody mouth. A man bites the nail of his forefinger until it bleeds in two scenes; he removes a bandage from it and the bandage reappears on his finger; he finally removes the bandage using a staple puller and his finger bleeds, raw from the missing nail; the man later answers the door while keeping his bloody hand on the doorframe, smearing blood down the wood.
 A man and a woman walk passed their youthful counterparts in the current timeframe in a few scenes and in one scene, the woman is in a trance with her back against the mirror, becoming alert just in time to avoid an anchor blade swinging down from the ceiling and she disarms it.
 A woman hangs an antique mirror after installing a heavy metal arm in the ceiling, fitted with an anchor blade weighted by a heavy barbell, and she and a man try to break the mirror with golf clubs and crowbars, but fail and the woman sets up video cameras and computer screens to record supernatural activity in the room during an overnight stay in the house: during the night, the temperature of the room becomes warmer, lights go off and on throughout the house, cell phones stop working and strange noises occur as we hear heavy footsteps upstairs (no one is there) and snapping sounds and they see themselves as children in their memories, appearing to be in a trance.
 In two scenes a father points a gun at the face of his young daughter: in one of the scenes we hear a shot fired as the camera cuts away before we can see the result. A little girl with a blood spattered face looks sees her father walking down a hallway with a pistol in his hand; later, the scene repeats and the little girl's face is first her 23-year-old face with some blood spatter and then her 12-year-old face; a third scene shows the little girl watching as her father carries chains down the hallway. A woman dreams that her father is strangling her and she wakes up in bed, screaming.
 We see a man standing against a large antique mirror, his eyes glowing, his skin greenish and his mouth smirking. A few scenes feature groups of two, three and a dozen people with dirty faces and worn clothing, their eyes glowing as they stand in dark places around a house: in one scene, they stare and point at a woman and the scene ends, and in three scenes, a small group of such people stands in the picture window of a house and stare out at night, with glowing eyes. A man sees an unknown woman with long hair and glowing eyes standing in shadows in several rooms in his house. A woman stares, as three statues under sheets appear to turn their heads twice in their mirror reflections.
 In two scenes, we see pictures of a dead woman, lying face-up in some blood and with three red bullet holes in her chest and abdomen. A woman in front of an antique mirror unbuttons the front of her long dress at the waist and we see a long C-section scar running across the lower abdomen, gaping open somewhat and beginning to bleed. A woman stands staring, trancelike, into a mirror, holding a vacuum cleaner that is running; later, she enters her husband's home office and smashes things off the top of the desk causing a family photo's glass cover to break and a flash of light emanates from a large mirror across the room. A man picks up a bar stool and raises it to swing at a large mirror, but puts the chair down.
 A woman stands in front of a video camera and records information about 45 deaths having occurred in houses where a particular antique mirror hung over the centuries; a man burned to a char in his fireplace and another man died after buying the mirror, a woman bought it and died of dehydration in a bathtub full of water (we see a grainy photo of her body covered to the neck with dark water and her head resting back on the edge of the tub), three children starved to death after parents bought the mirror, a woman purchased it and beat herself to death in jail breaking her own bones with a hammer, a man tortured and killed his wife, another person starved, a bank employee bit through a live electric cable, a teacher walked into traffic and we see a photo of the man hanging upside down over the upturned chassis of a wrecked car, police found a pair of pliers and many bloody teeth in a room where the mirror once hung and we also hear that no person is able to break the mirror. We hear that all pets living in any house with a particular mirror on the wall died, as did all the plants in the house and we see a house with several dead plants.
 A woman slaps a man in the face during an argument; they argue about a dog and the man says it died of parvovirus, causing it to vomit and have diarrhea all over the house while the woman says a demon in a mirror killed it and the man says, "The mirror eats dogs!?" A wife and her husband argue loudly several times about his work on a computer, about antiques, about their dog and about their house; their two pre-teen children hear them and cry each time. Several flashbacks feature a father shouting at and berating his pre-teen daughter and son to stay away from him, his office and their mother. A disembodied male voice calls a woman a "cow." A woman addresses a large mirror standing on the floor across the room in an auction house, saying, "You must be hungry." We hear that a woman had no hair and no teeth by the time she was murdered.
 The camera switches back and forth a dozen times between two sequences in which a boy and an adult are handcuffed and arrested by police for murder and driven away, crying; the arrested scream about innocence and that a mirror being to blame. A man leaves a psychiatric facility at age 21 as a psychiatrist warns him that his sister had no psychological treatment after the two shared the childhood trauma of seeing their parents' murders.
 A dog bites a woman and she shrieks (we see no blood or broken skin). We see a dog lying on his side, panting and we hear that he died soon after.
 A woman kicks the pot of a dead plant and breaks it. A boy and a girl point toy ray guns at each other and make shooting noises. A husband carries a large plate of slop upstairs in his house for his wife (it looks like tomato sauce, a shrimp, apple skins and other indistinguishable small items.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 3 F-words (some muttered), 4 scatological terms, 2 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut-up), name-calling (crazy, stupid, sick, cow, whale, cheater), stereotypical references to men, women, parents, children, people who believe in the supernatural, people with mental illnesses, psychiatrists, 2 religious profanities (GD), 1 religious exclamation (Oh My God).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman drinks two large servings of wine with the bottle on the dining room table as she feeds her two children toast for dinner.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Demon possession, curses, murder, accidental death, child abuse, wrongful convictions, mental illness, imagination, obsession, families.

MESSAGE - Childhood trauma can come back to haunt you.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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