Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageReview: ‘Ouija’ isn’t much better than a cheap parlour trick Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Oct 21, 2016 in Entertainment
‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ is a conventional horror movie with a relatively interesting story and adequate build-up that unfortunately gives way to what is essentially a special effects montage.
For those that dabble in the occult, there are generally strict rules that must be followed in order to prevent one side from harming the other. Not following these instructions is often the starting point for supernatural horror movies. In some cases it’s a simple oversight, but other times trouble is the result of someone haphazardly throwing caution to the wind and the rulebook with it. In Ouija: Origin of Evil, a family is so overwhelmed with the possibility of reconnecting with a deceased loved one they are oblivious to the evil they’ve unleashed.
It’s only been a few months since Alice’s (Elizabeth Reaser) husband passed away, leaving her to raise their two daughters, Lina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson), alone. Alice runs a phoney fortune teller business from her home and decides to add a new prop to her act: a Ouija board. She tosses the included rules aside and begins to rig the planchette with magnets. However from the moment the so-called game is opened, strange things begin to happen — and it’s all focused on Doris. She’s convinced she’s made contact with her father and after asking a few questions so is Alice. But it’s not just their family; Doris is able to make contact with anyone’s deceased loved ones via the board. Only Lina notices how Doris is changing since gaining this new ability. She goes to Father Tom (Henry Thomas) for help, but it may be too late to stop the sinister plan already set in motion.
This is a pretty conventional horror movie with few surprises, which is quite disappointing considering the potential displayed in writer/director Mike Flanagan’s earlier films. He may have gotten in the odd effective jump scare, but the seasoned genre fan won’t experience too many shocks in this picture. The overall premise is relatively interesting, piecing together a few narrative conventions to create the house’s backstory and the origin of the current disturbance. There’s definitely one aspect of the presence’s relationship to the family that many may find unsettling even outside of the context of the film as it channels “Big Brother” to add an extra element of creepy to the tale.
However after all the effort put into trying to create an interesting story, the last act relies too heavily on special effects. That’s not to say they don’t look great, but it just becomes a little worn-out and seems somewhat lazy after all the relatively good script work. This also applies to the exposition that painstakingly describes the cause of the disturbance, rather than employing a more film-friendly flashback or vignette. Sure the history recited is upsetting, but it’s also just words coming from a man who looks like he’s trying to tell a ghost story.
In the end it’s just a conventional horror movie with all the expected jumps and twists that’ll disappoint genre fans and Flanagan’s admirers, but still make the squeamish shriek. Luckily everyone can still enjoy the animated GIF-maker.
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson and Annalise Basso
More about Ouija Origin of Evil, Mike Flanagan, Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson
Entertainment Video
Latest News
Top News