Oculus / King Louis OG

Sometimes being a fan of horror can be difficult. For every The Shining or The Exorcist, there are countless dozens of terrible horror movies that should've never been greenlit. It can be tough to navigate through the rubbish. That's why I get really excited when I come across a gem - an under-the-radar horror movie with quality acting, beautiful cinematography, and an engaging story.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an over-the-top gore-filled schlockfest. Toxic Avenger, anyone? But it's nice to see when a noticeable amount of effort was put into creating a quality film that exceeds the notion of what a horror movie is expected to be. Oculus is one of those films.

But first. Cannabis.

This evening I selected some King Louis OG from my stash. King Louis is an indica strain that's a cross between OG Kush and LA Confidential. When I originally purchased it the budtender assured me that it was a perfect strain to treat chronic pain and insomnia so I couldn't help but give it a go. These particular buds were from Chong's Choice - Tommy Chong's personal line of cannabis. If Tommy is comfortable putting his name on this strain, that's as good of an endorsement as I need. Also, weed, so… yes, please!

Nugs are a nice deep green dusted with shiny trichomes. The aroma is delicious and gives off a thick dank smell of an enchanted forest. Grinding the weed only enhanced the aroma making it even more potent. The flavor is what you'd expect from an OG strain - earthy with notes of hops, and pine. Also picked up a bit of sweetness. Maybe like a lemon peel or something citrus.

The movie sets the stage with two young children played by Annalise Basso (Kaylie) and Garret Ryan (Tim) trying to escape from inside a house. As they attempt their escape a man holding a gun enters. The gunman approaches the kids and his face is shown just as he fires a shot. The gunman from the dream wakes up from his nightmare. It's revealed that he is the grown up version of Tim, the boy from the dream, now played by Brenton Thwaites. Tim is in a mental hospital and this dream was the "breakthrough" doctor's were hoping for to recommend release. Right away, Oculus establishes that it will be presented with a series of flashbacks. The movie frequently and unapologetically jumps back and forth between present day and their childhood. This storytelling technique may cause confusion and frustration, but knowing that detail going into the movie will surely help.
Things becomes especially mind-bending during the final act when both timelines begin overlapping.
This opening scene is only about 5 minutes long, but that's all the time it took for Chong's King Louis OG to take control of my consciousness. It started with a tingling feeling of pressure around my eyes and forehead. Then my jaw slacked open transforming me into stoned-out mouth breather. I was all but locked into place ready to soak in all this movie had to offer.

Meanwhile, Tim's sister Kaylie, now played by Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy), is obsessed with an item up for sale at auction called the "Lasser Glass" -- a mirror, we find out a bit later, with supernatural powers. During a conversation between Tim and Kaylie over lunch we discover that the cursed mirror is what possessed the sibling's parents when they were children and pushed their dad to murder their mom then commit suicide. Murders that, during his time in the mental hospital, Tim has been convinced he committed. This is when Kaylie confesses her plan to him -- capture video evidence that the mirror is cursed, then destroy it so it can no longer inflict death and destruction on others.

That is essentially the plot of Oculus. Simple, right? Don't let the simple premise deter you. What makes Oculus so exceptional, in my opinion, is how the subject matter, cinematography and direction are treated with respect. There are some standard horror movie fallbacks and a jump scare or two, but for the most part the horror set pieces are clever and the pacing keeps you engaged. The timeshifting element is effective in creating micro "cliffhangers" as they jump between present and past. Things becomes especially mind-bending during the final act when both timelines begin overlapping as historical similarities start putting the puzzle pieces into place.

I absolutely loved this movie from the opening frame until the very last. The movie is smart and doesn't hold you hand throughout. It forces you to stay alert. Not only can I recommend watching this movie high, but I can confidently recommend watching it sober as well.

What about you? Have you watched Oculus high or otherwise? Have you ever tried King Louis OG? What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment and let me know. In the meantime please don't forget to follow Bloody High on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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