Starring Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Henry Thomas, Lulu Wilson
Directed by Mike Flanagan
2016 / 99 Minutes / Universal Pictures
First Review by Brent
Ouija: Origin of Evil is the prequel to the absolutely wretched 2014 film Ouija. A movie so laughable and stupid it was really tough to want to see this one. The good news is this one was a vast improvement and a total surprise. This is one of the better horror films I’ve seen this year.
I was thoroughly entertained and surprised at how well made this is. I loved the whole 60’s look and the style and all the small details they used throughout. The film cue marker was a nice added touch throughout the movie even though it doesn’t really add anything to the overall film. Not a lot of people are going to even notice it except for film nerds like me. I think they could have pushed this gimmick even further, not as much as Grindhouse but maybe a few more scratches and shaky film jumps. Although, that could just be me missing 35mm film at the theatre.
One thing that the movie does fail on is a lack of scares. There are the odd jumps and creepy moments, but it’s kind of the old horror schtick that we’ve seen a lot of lately, especially with all the possessed little girl movies, it’s getting old. They could have pushed this further, but instead kept this pretty safe and obviously wanted a PG-13 rating.
A problem I have with this franchise is there really isn’t a lot of substance. The story is fairly simple which is also something the original definitely suffered from. The Ouija board is well know and I think it deserves deeper and darker. Fortunately everything lined up this time and it works. All kudos for this one go to the director and his surprisingly great cast.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is a fun horror film. It’s not going to be a classic scare, but it did it’s job and it’s biggest job was improving on the original and for that this film deserves recognition.
A SECOND OPINION
Second Review by Elise
Every malevolent ghost movie should start with an Ouija board. Doesn’t matter where it takes place, what it’s about, who’s in it. Ouija: Origin of Evil is not a particularly original or unique movie but it’s unique in that it is a sequel that is better than the original film. Ouija SUCKS. It’s one of the dumbest movies of the last 5 years. Don’t even bother. You don’t need it. Swerve it.
Origin of Evil however is not too bad! There are some decent scares, most of them jump scares, but it has some imagery that the camera holds on for longer than most movies would. Another HUGE surprise for me was that this was actually well-written. Most of the time the attitude seems to be “who cares, it’s just a horror movie”. The characters are given no personality or motivation and you end up not caring at all if they end up dead by the movie’s end.
The cinematography was excellent and had some really interesting shot choices. This was a period piece and the costumes were great as well. You can tell that the filmmakers actually cared about the end product and put in the work with this movie. Not perfect but a good movie to add to your list for the spooky season.