Karen Gillan taking the lead in Mike Flanagan’s ‘Oculus’
by Ben Bussey
This kind of early casting news isn’t usually something we’re generally too concerned about reporting here at BAH, but this one caught my attention. First off, it’s the next feature from the director of Absentia, easily one of my favourite films of the year so far. Secondly, it’s a leading role for the Actress Formerly Known As Amy Pond, Karen Gillan. Standing to attention, fanboys? I thought so.
Variety reports that the film in question, Oculus, has been co-written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard, and centres on “a woman whose life was destroyed as a child after her parents were murdered and brother was pegged with the crime, even though she believes the crime was committed by a supernatural force. Ten years later, the brother is ready to move on but the sister is determined to prove that something else murdered their parents.”
Doesn’t sound too far removed from Flanagan’s last film, but that’s no bad thing. Not many people seem to be talking about Absentia, which is a damn shame as it really is one of the best and most distinctive horror films I’ve seen so far this year. Considering Flanagan pulled it off on a pretty low budget, it’ll be exciting to see what he can do with more cash at his disposal. And of course, it’ll be interesting to see how Gillan does in a leading film role. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a great career precedent set for former Doctor Who assistants to date; maybe she can break that. She could certainly do a lot worse than to work with Flanagan for her first post-Who lead; on the evidence of Absentia, he’s a writer-director with a particular skill for crafting strong female characters.
Oculus will be shooting later this year. Check out my Absentia review here.