Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all? That’s the question facing brother and sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites) in this well-made if featherweight American horror. The pair reunite after a decade to take care of some unfinished, supernatural business and face a pretty cool antagonist: an antique mirror known as the Lasser Glass, which has a habit of making its owners kill themselves and others.
The mirror’s earlier victims were Kaylie and Tim’s parents, whom we see in flashbacks alongside the siblings’ present-day attempts to conquer this evil piece of furniture. Director Mike Flanagan has lots of fun with the crisscrossing timelines. Glowing-eyed ghosts flit menacingly, and Kaylie has a memorably cringeworthy moment involving a broken lightbulb that she mistakes for an apple. Yet the family upset that the film tries to plumb for emotional effect never turns into anything meaningful. For all its bump-in-the-night delights, ‘Oculus’ is little more than a well-tooled creepshow.