For this instalment of Who’s That Final Girl? we’re taking a look at Oculus, a movie staring Karen Gillan,
Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, and one jacked-up Possessed Mirror. With a cast like that, you have to
expect some nerdy, pop culture references. Fortunately, this isn’t one of those movies, so we’ll have all those here.
The movie starts with a young boy being put into a cop car while young Karen Gillan watches on in anguish. At this point, I’m comfortable in saying that Kaylie Russell (Gillan) is going to be our Final Girl. It
seems pretty obvious, she’s got the angst down and she’s a girl. A handful of minutes in and it seems pretty solid.
Flash to the present, and Tim Russell is all grown up and finishing up his psychiatric treatment for going on and on about a murderous mirror that killed his family. Now able to get on with his life, he meets up
with his sister Kaylie who, while not incarcerated for murder, has not moved on from the tragedy of her past and now works at an auction house.
The mirror, creepy as it is, has been sold and Kaylie finds her window to deal with her enemy rapidly closing, so she does what any intrepid and obsessed girl will do: she goes about making a documentary. Not
exactly, but she does manage to create an elaborate death-trap to destroy the evil mirror that destroyed her family that includes obsessively recording every step she’s taken and having her brother to give cause for plenty of exposition. Otherwise she’d come across as completely crazy, but spending that much time with the Doctor has a tendency to do that to you.
Before we get lost in the utter depths of her ginger madness, the movie flickers back to the past when the Russell family acquires the possessed mirror. Alan Russel (Cochrane) shows us what Lucas has been
up to since Empire Records, but why you should also always purchase your office furniture at IKEA to avoid acquiring cursed/possessed/demonic antiques. Despite knowing that he dies from the first flashback scene, he could have been a prime candidate for the Final Girl. Granted, he’d be wrapped in a tight white coat and ranting about demon mirrors, but he’d be alive.
The movie flicks back and forth between past and present as the mirror screws with the perceptions of the Russell siblings. This only occurs more and more, picking up speed between flashbacks that makes binge drinking then spending a night on a Tilt-a-Whirl seem like a good idea. In desperate manoeuvre, Tim throws the switch to trigger the death trap in an attempt to destroy the mirror. A move that should work, but since the mirror is messing with their minds, what should be a simple and dramatic end to a complete mind game of a movie is twisted with the death of our theorized Final Girl, Kaylie.Shortly after Kaylie’s death, the cops show up to cart Tim back off.
All the while he begs to be believed about the cursed mirror again and sealing his fate as the Final Girl and wrapping up the longest break-up movie about a mirror ever produced.