A couple years ago, there was a Ouija horror movie based on the popular board game. The only thing special about the film is that it featured two women who are fast becoming icons of genre film and TV, Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) and Lin Shaye (Insidious). Other than that, it’s a totally unspectacular film. I hesitate to call it a bad film, though, for while I didn’t like it, I strongly feel it just wasn’t meant for me. Stiles White’s Ouija is a horror movie for teens that are just discovering the horror genre. It’s not a movie for critics or horror fiends.
So, I wasn’t exactly excited for a Ouija prequel. But the trailers suggested promise, director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) is one of today’s best horror filmmakers, and early buzz said it was good. I didn’t run to the theatres, but in an October movie season strangely lacking in new theatrical horror releases, I was curious enough to buy a ticket.
So… Ouija: Origin of Evil is one of the biggest, best surprises of 2016 movies. It is scary, methodical, classy, well-acted, and easy to recommend to both horror diehards and the genre’s newbies. In every conceivable way, Ouija: Origin of Evil blows the original film out of the water.
Going the prequel route, we follow a single mother and her two girls who are putting on fake séances in order to ease the hurt of those who’ve lost loved ones. When they decide to add the Ouija board to the mix, the youngest girl begins channeling something real, something from the other side. What begins with excitement and mystery quickly turns to terror as the true nature of the supernatural spirit makes itself known to the family.
Listen: you’ve seen some of this stuff before. Spirit boards, ghosts in the house, possession, etc. Some horror fans may bemoan that the film adds nothing new. And that may be true on some level but I don’t really care. The movie is solid. Like, rock solid. With the 60’s décor, 60’s Universal logo, and even some added cigarette burns for changing reels, it plays like a classic horror film that’s been unearthed fifty years later. It’s one of the best horror sequels/prequels you’re ever gonna see, if for no other reason than because it so clearly outdoes the original in every capacity.
If you saw 2014’s Ouija and were left unimpressed, I don’t blame ya one bit. But don’t let that convince you that Origin of Evil is the same thing. This movie delivers.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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