Ouija

Board stupid

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - DVD & Blu-Ray -

Re­lease Date: 9 March

2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Direc­tor: Stiles White Cast: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Ka­ga­soff, Bianca A San­tos, Dou­glas Smith

Michael Bay

served as pro­ducer on this adap­ta­tion of the in­fa­mous game. You’d think that would en­sure a cer­tain bol­shy ex­u­ber­ance – the films re­leased by Bay’s Plat­inum Dunes stu­dio are tra­di­tion­ally aw­ful, but event­ful. Ouija aims for slow burn, but sput­ters out in­stead.

The plot is sim­ple. Deb­bie dis­cov­ers a ouija board while clear­ing out her at­tic. Ig­nor­ing the “rules”, she uses it on her own, and dies shortly af­ter. Her friends try to con­tact her in the be­yond – but is it re­ally Deb­bie an­swer­ing their mes­sages?

You’d for­give Ouija its by- thenum­bers story if it packed some de­cent scares. It doesn’t. In­stead, you have to en­dure an at­mos­phere- free open­ing 45 min­utes. When the ghosts do fi­nally show up, the kills are repet­i­tive. The idea of us­ing the board’s planchette to see the spir­its is fun, but also means that you know pre­cisely when a spooky face is go­ing to leer out at you.

Ouija is tar­geted at un­sea­soned hor­ror view­ers, and that’s fine. Trou­ble is, it feels like direc­tor Stiles White hasn’t much of a clue about the genre ei­ther. There are worse hor­ror films than this, but it’s dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber a duller one.

Ex­tras: The DVD has just a four- minute Mak­ing Of. The Blu- ray adds two short fea­turettes ( eight min­utes): one looks at the his­tory of “talk­ing boards”; the other goes into the re­search process of the film. Hon­estly, you’ll learn more from a quick Google search. Will Salmon

“Please tell us how to spell ‘ ouija’.”

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