Up & Coming Weekly

May 13, 2014

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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20 UCW MAY 14-20, 2014 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Blumhouse productions released a love letter to fans called Oculus (104 minutes). It is proof that Blumhouse loves me and wants me to be happy because it is a basically well-crafted movie that almost gave me nightmares. Almost. There is something really nasty about this picture, more so than previous Blumhouse releases. For example, the people of The Purge pretty much had it coming, and the people in the Insidious franchise seemed generally capable of defeating the evil they face (and Lin Shaye was around to help them out). Here, though, the victims are helpless children even in their adult aspect; they are in way over their heads, dealing with forces they don't have a hope of defeating. We begin in the past, but the writers do a stellar job of blending the past and present narratives, blurring the line between then and now to great artistic effect. In story A, software developer named Alan Russell (Rory Cochrane, Right at Your Door) is moving into a new house with his wife Marie (Katee Sackoff, Battlestar Galactica) and two kids Tim (Garrett Ryan) and Kaylie (Annalise Basso). In story B, adult Tim (Brenton Thwaites) and adult Kaylie (Karen Gillan, Doctor Who) are reconnecting after Tim's release from an asylum. Clearly, something happened in story A that led to Tim's internment in the nuthouse, but we don't get to find out until much later. For now, Tim meets his sister for lunch, and she tells him that it's time to remember their promise and go to town on the evil mirror that screwed up their lives. Tim, fresh from the headshrinker, starts talking psychobabble about how their bad childhood was caused by inadequate caregivers and definitely not by a ghost lady with bad teeth and mirrors for eyes (Kate Seigal). And you know what's really cool? At this point in the film I couldn't tell which way they were going to play it. Early on, this could be a straight-up horror movie OR it could be a movie about a crazy woman who only thinks she is trapped in a straight up horror movie. Take a friend and compare notes on the moment you decided one way or the other. In story B, Kaylie pulls the older sister card with Tim, essentially forcing him to join her at their childhood home to deal with the evil force she insists lives in the mirror. Since she believes the mirror has reality altering powers, she sets up videos to capture everything, computers to record minute temperature changes, five or six alarm clocks to "wake them up" from delusions and remind them to eat, and a dead man's switch to automatically destroy the mirror if it's not reset every thirty minutes. Kaylie gives it the old college try but she fails to take into account the fact that if the mirror can control perceptions, all her fail safes are basically useless. Think about it: the moment the mirror appears it could theoretically be casting a veil over their perceptions. Tim and Kaylie may think they are turning on clocks and talking to people outside the house, but in reality they could be sitting on the floor twiddling their thumbs. Back to story A! Alan and Marie are slowly becoming detached from reality, isolating themselves in separate paranoid fantasies. The kids know something is wrong but are unable to convince anyone to help them. Over time, the atmosphere in the house becomes more and more claustrophobic, leading inevitably to the final moments of the story, in which the characters discover that they are in way over their heads. Overall, Oculus was pretty fantastic, though it did lose a star for over-exposition. The editing department should be severely reprimanded, because trimming some fat from the dialogue would have tightened the pace considerably. Proof that Blumhouse Loves Me and Wants Me to Be Happy Oculus (Rated R) by HEATHER GRIFFITHS HEATHER GRIFFITHS, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910.484.6200. FTCC CONTINUING EDUCATION DEPARTMENT offers To view a complete course listing with course descriptions, please visit our website at http://faytechcc.edu/continuing_education/schedule_june26.aspx (Click on Spring 2014 Schedule) SUMMERSCAPES 2014 Classes begin June 16 and run until mid-August. Pre-register early to reserve a space for your child! Call (910) 678-8386 for more information! IN THE MORNING Weekdays 5:30AM to 10:00AM

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