OuiJa: Origin Of eViL
Board to death
released OUT NOW! 15 | 99 minutes
Director Mike Flanagan Cast elizabeth reaser, annalise Basso, lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas, lin shaye, doug Jones
If Hasbro is hoping the Ouija franchise will help sell more of its famous “talking boards”, it might be disappointed. Despite some striking product shots, this Ouija prequel really doesn’t make playing with that iconic planchette look appealing...
Set in Los Angeles in 1967, the film follows the widowed Madame Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) and her two daughters as they attempt to make a living by tricking bereaved customers into thinking they can communicate with the other side. Then they add a Ouija board to the act and things get weird.
If you didn’t see the first Ouija movie, it’s not a problem; while this is technically a prequel, it’s also a standalone story in its own right. And it’s better than the first movie – the period details, including background noise about failed Moon landings, and lashings of eyeliner, make for an interesting setting, and Oculus director Mike Flanagan makes every character likeable, even the obvious cannon fodder, which effectively amps up the fear factor.
It’s a pity the final act descends into full-on CGI mouth-stretching and ceiling-skittering, but if you grit your teeth and ignore the cheap effects, it’s pretty solidly spooky. Worth seeing? The planchette is pointing to the letters Y-E-S. Sarah Dobbs
On the plus side, no more dentist bills.