Oculus (2013) Review


Oculus is a 2013 American supernatural psychological horror film co-written, edited, and directed by Mike Flanagan.


It is based on his short film Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan, and stars Karen Gillan as a young woman who is convinced that an antique mirror is responsible for the death and misfortune that her family suffered.


The film had its world premiere on September 5, 2013, at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and received a wide theatrical release on April 11, 2014.


It received generally positive reviews from critics, and was a box office success.


The film takes place in two different times: the present and 11 years earlier. The two plot lines are told in parallel through flashbacks.


In 2002, software engineer Alan Russell moves into a new house with his wife Marie, 10-year-old son Tim, and 12-year-old daughter Kaylie. Alan purchases an antique mirror to decorate his office. Unbeknownst to them, the mirror supernaturally induces hallucinations.


Marie is haunted by visions of her own body decaying, while Alan is seduced by a ghostly woman named Marisol, who has mirrors in place of eyes.

Black Swan (2010) Review


Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The screenplay was written by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on an original story by Heinz.


The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet by the New York City Ballet company.


The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new rival Lily (Kunis).


Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the part, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into madness.


Aronofsky conceived the premise by connecting his viewings of a production of Swan Lake with an unrealized screenplay about understudies and the notion of being haunted by a double, similar to the folklore surrounding doppelgängers.


Aronofsky cites Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Double as another inspiration for the film. The director also considered Black Swan a companion piece to his 2008 film The Wrestler, with both films involving demanding performances for different kinds of art. He and Portman first discussed the project in 2000, and after a brief attachment to Universal Studios, Black Swan was produced in New York City in 2009 by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Portman and Kunis trained in ballet for several months before filming began.

Captive State (2019) Review


Captive State is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Rupert Wyatt and co-written by Wyatt and Erica Beeney.


The film stars John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Colson Baker, and Vera Farmiga, and follows a young man who participates in a conspiracy to rebel against an alien race that has invaded Earth and forced strict martial law on all humans.


It was released in the United States on March 15, 2019, by Focus Features.


It received mixed reviews from critics and was a box-office bomb, grossing just $8 million against its $25 million budget.

Lavender (2016) Review


Lavender is a 2016 American-Canadian drama film directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly and written by Colin Frizzell and Ed Gass-Donnelly.


The film stars Abbie Cornish, Dermot Mulroney, Justin Long, Diego Klattenhoff, Peyton Kennedy and Lola Flanery.


The film was released on DirecTV on February 3, 2017, before being released on VOD and in theaters on March 3, 2017, by Samuel Goldwyn Films.


In 1985, police officers tell Patrick that something has happened to his brother and his family.


Jane, a blood-covered teenager, is found by police. Lavender Blue plays in the background. Jane is raised by a foster family and has no memory of her family or the tragedy.

Leap Year (2010) Review


Leap Year is a 2010 romantic comedy road film directed by Anand Tucker and written by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan. Loosely based on I Know Where I'm Going!, the film stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.


The film follows a real estate worker who heads to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition supposedly holds that men cannot refuse a woman's proposal for marriage.


Her plans are interrupted by a series of events and are further complicated when she hires an Irish innkeeper to take her to her boyfriend in Dublin.


Principal photography took place in County Wicklow, Dublin, County Mayo, and County Galway, with filming taking place in and around the Aran Islands, Connemara, Temple Bar, Georgian Dublin, Wicklow National Park, and Olaf Street, Waterford.


Leap Year premiered in New York City on January 6, 2010 and was released theatrically on January 8, 2010, by Universal Pictures in the United States and on February 28 by Optimum Releasing in Ireland.


The film received mostly negative reviews from critics, with many criticising the film’s pacing, plot and limited chemistry between Adams and Goode.