Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) Review

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I haven’t wrote anything for a while so I was looking to get back into the swing of reviewing and decided to give this a watch. It’s the sequel/prequel to Ouija which was to be brutally honest pretty damn boring. Ouija boards have always fascinated me so I thought I’d give this film a chance.

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Director: Mike Flanagan

Budget: $9,000,000 (estimated)

Runtime: 99 min

Trivia – The film was shot digitally, but director and editor Mike Flanagan, in order to add a retro feel to the film, added some nice touches in post-production to give the appearance of a movie shot on film. For example, every 20 minutes or so the “black dot” appears in the upper right corner of the frame, which used to signal a change of reels for film projected, and the first shots immediately following those pretend reel changes are jittery and inconsequential, as if allowing the story to “settle in” to the next reel. The frame composition that Flanagan uses, harks back to the deep-focus filmmakers of old incorporated into their films.

Trivia – One of three movies directed by Mike Flanagan to be released in 2016, the others being Hush and Before I Wake.

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The story is set in the late 60’s and even has an old school universal logo at the start of the film and also has the title of the film done in the style of the 60’s. The film follows a family of three who have recently lost their father and husband. The mother Alice who is having a tough time paying the bills, her youngest daughter Doris and a teenage daughter Lina who has a bit of a rebellious streak in her.

The family run a scam from their house faking psychic readings but they decide it’s a good thing as it hands people closure on their issues with the dead allowing them to move on. Lina sneaks out one night and ends up using a Ouija board at a friends house she’s caught and taken home but this triggers her mothers interest and she decides to add a Ouija board to her readings and seances to “help” people.

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The young daughter Doris starts playing with the Ouija board and claims to have contacted her father, she knows the answers to questions only the mother and father would know, however Lina doesn’t believe it’s her father. Things start to take a turn for the worse and Doris changes as she gets possessed by a spirit through the Ouija board.

As Doris doesn’t go to school the head master Father Tom starts to wonder what’s going on. Lina hands him some letters that she saw Doris writing, these letters are in Polish and they soon reveal the truth about what’s happening to Doris and the truth about their home.

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Everything leads to them being trapped inside the house and like all horrors it’s here that the final battle takes place as Lina, Father Tom and her mother try to cure Doris and work out what the hell is going on.

The Good

  • The ending, it’s not all happy and I really liked that.
  • Lulu Wilson who plays Doris gives a really good performance for such a young actor.
  • It’s quite creepy in places.
  • The backstory of the house and what’s truly going on is great.
  • The post credits scene is a good reference to the original film.

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The Bad

  • The pace of the film is a bit off in places.
  • Some of the CGI was awful, there’s a bit where we get to see the spirit that’s trying to possess Doris, maybe it’s just me but I thought it looked terrible.
  • The lad trying to get into Lina’s pants seemed to serve no real purpose, should have used some different characters like her friends instead.

Whilst this film is far better than the first one it’s still lacking in a few areas and it feels like they missed an opportunity here to have a really creepy film. The first film was just plain bad  whereas this one feels like it didn’t live up to what it could have been. Still it is worth a watch even though it’s lacking in scares and creepy bits.

Overall Rating 5.5/10

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