The stars of the upcoming new and original horror movie Oculus (review) gathered on the red carpet at the Chinese 6 Theater at the famous “Hollywood & Highland” corner to celebrate its premiere – and Dread Central was there!
Some folks say the poster is a little ambiguous so if you haven’t seen our junket video or read our review yet… here’s the scary skinny:
When teenage Kaylie’s younger brother, Tim, was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents, she made it her life’s mission to prove the law was wrong. She believes their deaths were at the supernatural hands of forces unleashed through an eerie antique in their home, The Lasser Glass. Tracing the provenance of the oversized mirror, adult Kaylie tracks it to an auction house, where she purchases it, and with the help of recently released Tim, she takes history’s reflections head-on. But… the mirror makes you see what it wants to you to see. What follows is a complex flip-flop through time with young Tim and Kaylie (played by Garrett Ryan and Annalise Basso) and their mom and dad (Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane), as well as adult Tim and Kaylie (Brenton Thwaites and Karen Gillan) and the malevolent mirror.
Based on his own short film, director Mike Flanagan (Absentia) said it’s difficult to take a short form and recreate the experience of watching it in long form, but he’s happy with the result. Especially as a fan of horror. “It’s a genre that’s not held up to the same standards as others,” he said. But rather than relying on suspense and gore, he strove to have a strong story and an excellent cast.
“The short was just one guy alone in a room and was made for fifteen hundred,” he told us. There was “a sense of dread that was present for the whole 28 minutes. But how do you do that for 90 minutes? It’s not easy. It took a long time to figure it out, and we even went through some ideas that completely missed like, ‘Let’s do an anthology movie! It’ll be three stories,’ or ‘Let’s try found footage.’ And so I divorced myself from the plot of the short and went after capturing the essence of the story.”
When it came casting his lead and the protagonist of the entire film, there was no doubt about Karen Gillan (the pixyish redhead shot to fame playing Dr. Who’s time-travel companion Amy Pond in the television series). He liked her and she knew it when, upon their first meeting, “He was drinking coffee out of a TARDIS mug, [and so I] realized I had a good chance of getting the role!”
Although she herself is not a big watcher of horror, she likes Oculus. “Our movie is not gratuitous or gross. There really is that feeling of going on a roller coaster, which is what a horror film should do. It should be like a thrilling, scary ride that you go on as a fun, shared experience.”
Oculus opens nationwide on Friday, April 11.
Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,” Not Another Happy Ending), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver), Rory Cochrane (Argo, Parkland), and Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica,” Riddick) star.
Oculus is directed by Mike Flanagan from a script he co-wrote with Jeff Howard, based on a short film Flanagan and Jeff Seidman made in 2005. Trevor Macy (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) and Marc D. Evans (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) produced the film, and Jason Blum, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Anil Kurian, D. Scott Lumpkin, Peter Schlessel, Dale Johnson, Glenn Murray, Julie May, and Mike Ilitch, Jr., serve as executive producers.
Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…
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