Board of it all
Release Date: OUT NOW!
15 | 89 minutes Director: Stiles White Cast: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A Santos, Douglas Smith
Stupid decisions are
fundamentally common to characters in horror movies, but the extreme level of wrongheaded decision- making on display in Ouija will have you slapping your forehead so hard you’ll want to have ice ready to apply afterwards.
It’s a true bargain bin assortment of spare parts from other, better scary movies. Ouija takes a basic plot – a young woman mysteriously commits suicide after using one of the titular boards; her friends then attempt to communicate with her spirit through it and predictably unleash terror – and bulks it out with characters that feel about as well sketched as those in a poorly- funded Public Service Announcement short about grief. On top of that, it’s content to settle for lazy jump jolts and a score that sounds like the team recorded trucks going past the studio in an attempt to generate at least a little bit of tension.
The cast shuffle through the motions, which in this case turn out to be possession- tinged attempts to blend a parlour game that’s kept kids and teens afraid and amused for years with a less successful, less focused version of the Final Destination movies.
Ouija is Hasbro’s shot at summoning a horror franchise big enough to match its hugely successful Transformers films: if you gathered round and consulted one of the boards to ask the departed if you should watch this, the planchette would move to “No” so forcefully you’d see the mark left in the surface.
Ouija was canned by Universal in 2011 for budget reasons, but re- emerged last year after a rewrite. We’re not sure it helped.
She hadn’t quite got the hang of it.