Here's the thing. I've always been freaked out by mirrors (evidenced right here), so it's a given I'd see Oculus - the story of the Russell siblings who have experienced a horrific past trauma that they are still dealing with in the present day, in particular Kaylie (Karen Gillan).
Her brother Tim (Brenton Thwaites) in a fit of panic as a youngster, killed their father after witnessing him murder their mother. He's been incarcerated (well, holed up in a psychiatric hospital) for over ten years and has finally come to terms with his crime and has even embraced the dysfunction of it all. Not so for Kaylie, who is determined to clear her father's name - and in turn, Tim's - by placing the blame for the tragedy on a mirror. Not just any mirror, but one that has been supposedly to blame for the deaths of dozens of people who have owned or come into contact with said evil mirror over the last few centuries.
As stated, all of the acting here is very commendable, with a special shout out to both Annalise Basso (young Kaylie) and Katee Sackhoff (Marie). Everyone gave honest, believable performances, which may be hard to believe in a film about a haunted mirror. But the concept is truly effective here. Who wasn't freaked out by the image of Samara in the mirror in The Ring, or that utterly horrifying scene from Poltergeist when that guy ripped his own face off? Mirrors are creepy, dammit.
Also lending a big heap of dread is the eerie score from The Newton Brothers. A subtle yet pulse pounding piece of music that conjures up nightmares without even seeing the film, I don't think I've liked a score as much since 2012's ominous Sinister. In fact, I listened to the score while writing this review. Inspiring!
So I leave you with the sincere recommendation to seek out this film. I imagine it has its naysayers who found it too slow or not bloody enough - but for someone who relishes a deliberate, drawn-out pace like myself, it was a breath of fresh air, and an intelligent, well-acted and complexly written piece. Do check it out.