12 Greatest Horror Films Of The Last 5 Years

11. Oculus (2013)

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Released in 2013, Oculus is based on a 2005 short with the same title, which contains nothing more than a single setting, a single actor and a mirror. The short was written and directed by American Mike Flanagan, and depicts a man who is determined to prove that an antique mirror is haunted.

It's from this intriguing premise that the feature length adaptation evolved, and the same philosophy of exploring psychological anguish is applied. Oculus stars Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who fame) who becomes convinced a mirror is responsible for the tragedies that previously befell her family. Two plotlines – the past and the present – are told in tandem, though it's difficult at times to distinguish between them.

The fear that Oculus induces comes primarily from the disorientation these timelines evoke – it's tough to ever get a grasp on where the story is going, and in this way it manages to shirk predictability in exchange for frights.


Commonly found reading, sitting firmly in a seat at the cinema (bottle of water and a Freddo bar, please) or listening to the Mountain Goats.