By Dark Soul
Oculus tells the story of two adult siblings who discover that an antique mirror is cursed and brings horror
and death to whoever owns it. When their mother acquired it when they were just children, they saw how
the thing slowly drove their mother insane. Their father was soon to follow and after the brother and sister
grow up, the girl takes it upon herself to discover the evil that lurks within the glass of the mirror.
This supernatural psychological horror story was written and directed by Mike Flanagan and based on his
short film Oculus: Chapter 3 The Man With The Plan. Expanding the short into a full feature film, he created
a smart movie with good characters and lots of scary moments. When the now grown sister tries to
convince her younger brother of 21 that the mirror was the cause of their mother’s madness and their
father’s murder of her and himself as though told by demons to do so. the girl sets out to prove the mirror is
Setting up cameras to watch the thing, she tries to prove that the mirror is indeed evil but in her attempt to
do so, her endeavor is tested as the malevolence of the glass slowly turns both brother and sister insane
as it plays with their minds and drives them crazy. This is a good movie and unlike most films you’ll ever
see, it takes place in two times, the now and the past when the siblings were still children. The story from
there flips back and forth between the two time zones until we see how their mother and father are
overtaken by the wickedness of the mirror. In her research on the evil thing, the girl discovers that all
throughout the ancient mirrors long standing on Earth, that it has made everyone who ever owned it go
insane and force them to murder or kill themselves.
If you are looking for a new kind of horror movie, that’s not silly, clichéd and just more of the same old
storylines than this movie is a must see.
In this new retelling of the Mary Shelly classic story about a man who creates a monster, this movie has a
few new twists to it. This is really the story of Igor, the mad doctor’s much needed fateful assistant. A
character that was void of the novel but gained fame in the Universal movie Son of Frankenstein. Here
good old Igor is up front and center in this tale as the film opens with him being a clown for a small cirrus
troop that has made a stop in 1800’s London.
From there, he meets the young Doctor Victor Frankenstein who saves the hunched back Igor and mends
his terrible affliction and turns him into a better man. Together the two work on creating life from death and
after they build themselves a man from the bodies of long dead men, it’s time to bring the thing to life. Of
course things go very bad and the thing they made goes on a rampage in their lab.
Although this is a story we all know and love, it’s told mainly from Igor’s point of view, much in the same
way that the movie Mary Riley did with the story of Dr. Jekyll and his evil side. Since the story focus is on
the doctor and his helper, we see the Monster they create very little. However the little we see him is well
worth it for the dead man walking looks great and although this was a 20th Century Fox production and
release, the Monster looks a great deal like Universal’s Karloff’s Frankenstein Monster in many ways with
even the flat top head.
The story departs greatly from the novel that soon after the Monster is brought to life, he’s killed soon after
in a fight with the good doctor and Igor and does not run the country side making havoc. But again, this is
the story of Igor and his Master as the two become friends in a relationship that we have never seen
before in any Frankenstein movie before. Well worth seeing but don’t go into this looking for a lot of the
Monster, here…..he’s just a small bit player and Igor despite the film’s title is the main star.
Batman: The Killing Joke reviewed by AL J. Vermette
This R rated animated Batman feature film is not for the young ones to view. This is an adult’s only Batman
cartoon movie very much in the same vein as Batman: Under The Red Hood. Complete with strong words,
murder, rape implied of Batgirl by the Joker AND get this, Batman and Batgirl doing it on top of a building.
Despite not being a Batman movie you can have the kids sit in front of…..for true Batman fans this feature
is a must.
The movie is broken into two stories, the first being told through the eyes of Batgirl as she tries and keeps
up with her mentor, The Dark Knight. Along the way, she gets mad at the caped one atop a building roof
and after a short fight with her guru and taking Batman off his feet and pouncing upon him, she instead of
punching him she turns her rage into a kiss. Shockingly, Batman responses to her kiss and as Batgirl rips
off her cape and cowl followed by her Batgirl top. And although the scene ends there, we see our heroes
take a moment and share each other’s pain and loneliness.
The next part of the film features the evil clown known as The Joker. Like Under The Red Hood, this Joker
is no laughing matter and not only kills people but shows up at the door of Batgirl’s other self, Barbara
Gordon, and shoots her point blank in her belly and cutting her spinal cord putting the hero in a wheel char.
This feature brings back two of Batman’s most noted actors to play the parts of Batman and his arch
enemy The Joker. Kevin Conroy who played Batman longer than any other actor and for more than 20
years, and yet never once put on the cape and cowl. Conroy started playing the voice of Batman back in
the 1990’s cartoon TV show Batman: The Animated Series. Later in Batman Beyond, Justice League and
a few animated Batman movies. Likewise his forever rival, The Joker from Batman: The Animated Series,
Kevin Conroy was once again teamed with Mark Hamill…..(yeah that Mark Hamill) returning as the Clown
Price of Crime…..The Joker. It was good to see…..or more like hear Conroy and Hamill return to the roles
they played back in the TV series.
If you love your Batman really dark and really, really cool, then this is a must see movie. But remember this
one is NOT for the kids.