OuiJa: Ori­gin Of eViL

Board to death

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

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.

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