Director: Stiles White
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca Santos. USA. 1h 29m
This film is just constantly bad. I want to end the review there but I owe a full explanation, and here it is…
Ouija has become the in thing among teens and adults, that little edgy thing that divides groups of believers and non believers, those who see them as a parlour game and others who see them as elements of evil, every few years the mysticism about this “game” raises its head and creates more urban myths, believers and skeptical non believers. Along with this rise in fame comics, books, tattoos, movies and music are all heavily influenced by the spirit board and it’s planchette accessory.
Beginning with two young girls playing with their Ouija board, the film uses this to lay out the ground rules, some I haven’t heard of and I’ve been using these boards for a long time, so be prepared to be taught a thing or two, one feature I haven’t played with is looking through the eye of the planchette to actually see ghosts, which begs the question, if you can use this to view ghosts why bother using the board to talk with them, just pick up and go with your own spiritual go pro right? After scaring themselves shitless the film cuts to them as young ladies, the Ouija fanatic is still partying with the dead and breaking all of her own rules now by playing alone, she’s now in so deep that she starts to shun her childhood friend for more board time, the inevitable happens and she’s found dead one morning.
Not wanting to break with occult cinema tradition the film keeps on the path of the obvious, the abandoned best friend uses the spirit board to try and say goodbye to her best friend but through a tense jumpscare filled session with their mutual best friends, she uncovers more about the history of this particular board and discovers that she has a score to settle with a certain bad tempered spirit known as “Mother”. From this point on the film starts a terrible rhythm…
- faux jumpscare
- lights out
…rinse and repeat until the closing credits.
From time to time Stiles White’s non masterpiece tries its hand at a bit of drama and mystery, this results in one of my favourite ladies of horror Lyn Shae getting to play a charming crazy old lady who reveals how her sister was used to help channel spirits in ways similar to, her helpfulness comes with a price that tries to twist the plot but fails as its just so obvious, you tried though Lyn and I’m thankful for you making a really dull movie slightly more interesting for a short while.
I never felt threatened or scared by the film, the scream that comes with each jumpscare sounds pretty much the same, and it’s a great indication that there really isn’t much variation in this film, by the end I kinda wanted to give a higher rating to films like Friend Request and Oculus as at least they tried to incorporate different types of fear in their mediocre plots.
There is a story here, it could have been arranged a lot better and revealed in more interesting ways, the characters all seem to have the same look on their faces for every scene, they are pretty blank and vacant, much like the plot. I do appreciate the effort, a film had to be made purely about a Ouija board, I had hoped it would be an ultimate badass horror because of the history of the board and how it’s been used to evoke fear in other horrors over the years, the bar is high here, it didn’t burst into flames like the creepy scene in Paranormal Activity (2007) and even Witchboard (1986) had a good vibe and character about it, but this just fell flat and never resurrected itself.
R – Dead Awake (2016), Paranormal Activity (2007), Witchboard (1986)
L – Occult horrors, Paranormal horrors,