Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

Ouija: Origin of EvilLos Angeles, 1967. Alice is a still grieving widow who works at home as a spiritual medium, and is accompanied by her two daughters when tricking their customers into making them believe that spirits are present. The oldest daughter, Lina, one day suggests that they implement a Ouija Board into her mother’s readings. The youngest daughter, Doris, tries it out alone and invites an evil presence into their home, not realizing how dangerous it is.

 

This is a prequel to “Ouija” from 2014, and this time with Mike Flanagan in the director’s chair. And that really shows. Compared to the first movie which was a very formulaic teenage horror flick, this prequel packs in a good bunch of tension and atmosphere. I also liked how the movie has a style that reflects the time period it’s supposed to be set in with a bit of a “retro” style to it, even starting off with the old Universal logo. The performances are good, and the visuals well done.

 

If you’ve seen the first movie, you more or less know how it will end, but strangely that still doesn’t take anything away from the viewer experience. You already know that the family will not experience a happy ending, but the point of this movie is not to reveal a twist at the end but to explain the journey that led to it. If there’s anything I’d like to nitpick on, it’s the “ghostly gape” scenes that, instead of building the tension and atmosphere further, manages to take us into cringe-land instead. Seriously: big, gaping mouths rarely look scary, and they’re such a tedious horror-trope to watch these days. Now, I personally don’t think these scenes ruins anything for this movie, but my personal opinion is that it would be much better without them.

 

Overall, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” is a very decent, yet quite unexpected prequel of a film that didn’t really warrant any sequels or prequels. While the movie doesn’t manage to become scary, it’s still quite atmospheric and a big step-up from the first. Also, here is a little fun fact: for those that have seen Mike Flanagan’s “Oculus” from 2013, you get a little Easter Egg where you can see the mirror in the basement.

 

 

Ouija: Origin of Evil

 

Director: Mike Flanagan
Country & year: USA, 2016
Actors: Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas, Parker Mack, Halle Charlton, Alexis G. Zall, Doug Jones, Kate Siegel, Sam Anderson, Chelsea Gonzalez, Lincoln Melcher, Nicholas Keenan, Michael Weaver, Ele Keats
IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4361050/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ouija (2014)

Ouija (2014)A girl plays with an old Ouija Board, and is later found dead in her own home, supposedly having killed herself. One of her closest friends is not convinced that she committed suicide, and suspects that something else must have caused her death. Desperate to find answers, she finds the old Ouija Board and convinces her other friends to play with it inside the dead girl’s home. When they get in contact with what appears to be their deceased friend, they soon discover that something is not right…and that certain things should never be played with.

 

A spirit board is often simply referred to as a “Ouija Board”, with the word “Ouija” actually being a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Despite being considered a very “dangerous” thing to play with, often being represented as a supernatural version of a “Russian Roulette” in horror lore, this thing has been sold as a regular toy for years. It has even had a “girly” version of it with pink casing sold at “Toys ‘R Us”. And to my knowledge, none of the toy manufacturers have ever had any lawsuits won against them due to children getting possessed, or mayhem breaking out in people’s home due to spirits invading their privacy. So, make of that what you will.

 

Now, this movie does have a decent idea for a horror story, considering that the Ouija Board has often just been used as a prop in horror movies, without having much relevance otherwise. Unfortunately, it does become very formulaic very quickly, and it becomes one of those horror movies you’ve already seen multiple times before. The performances are okay though, and it was a nice treat to see Lin Shaye (from the “Insidious” movies) play a little role here.

 

“Ouija” is the type of horror movie that runs a very basic formula: strange death, friends seeking answers, friends getting killed off one by one after messing with things they shouldn’t have messed with. However, as a teenage horror-popcorn flick it does alright, I guess.

 

 

Ouija

 

Director: Stiles White
Country & year: USA, 2014
Actors: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith, Shelley Hennig, Sierra Heuermann, Sunny May Allison, Lin Shaye, Claudia Katz Minnick, Vivis Colombetti, Robyn Lively, Matthew Settle, Afra Sophia Tully
IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1204977/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul