31 Nights of Halloween Horror part 21: Ouija: Origin of Evil
31 Nights of Halloween Horror: Part 21 in a 31 part series.
A horror film reviewed, every night for the month of October. Tonight we’re talking about:
Ouija: Origin of Evil | Dir. Mike Flanagan | 2016/USA | 99 mins
Seriously, this is all we have?
If you are looking for a Halloween movie in the theaters this year you pretty much have one choice. Kind of sad, especially when that movie is a prequel to a movie that came out two years prior and got bad reviews. Either way, I’ll tell you about Ouija: Origin of Evil and you can decide if you would rather stay home and watch something you like or dish out the $10 to say meh.
I was fortunate enough to miss out on the first Ouija movie that came out in 2014 so I can’t say what the relationship is to the prequel other then I assume they both have Ouija boards in them. This movie takes place in 1967, we have Alice the mom who is the neighborhood fortune teller (she even has a sign on the front lawn to prove it) her teenage daughter Paulina and her nine-year-old Doris. The movie opens with widowed Alice performing a seance for one of her clients and if you saw the trailer for this movie you already know the whole thing is a hoax and Alice scams people with the help of her two daughters, though she looks more at what she’s doing, as a way to comfort people in their time of need.
Know the rules.
One night Paulina or Lina as she is called for short, is over a friends house and they bust out the Ouija board game to play, she suggests to her mom to pick one up to add to their facade. The rules of Ouija are:
- Never play alone
- Never play in a graveyard
- Always say good bye
Well right off the bat Alice breaks rule #2 and the spirits immediately zoom in on young Doris in a scene that should have immediately raised some red flags to her sister that something was definitely going on. After that Doris seems to be the only one who can really channel the spirits of the board and she thinks she is talking to her deceased father when in fact we all know it is something much nastier. So obviously as time goes on Doris gets more and more fucked up with her eyes turning all white, acting weird and doing a lot of whispering. With the help of a priest who is a principal at the girl’s school, they are able to uncover the true horrors which are actually about the atrocities that happened at the house itself and the ouija board was just the gateway for them to escape.
The movie is shot well and acted well, especially young Doris when she goes into a full on description of what it feels like to be strangled all the time keeping her nine-year-old charming demeanor. But when it comes to actual scares, this movie is painfully predictable. For any seasoned horror vet you can tell exactly how every spooky scene is going to end as soon as it starts. You can almost count 1…2…3…NOW. They come up with an interesting back story to why the house is haunted which may have been fun to capitalize on a little more, but ultimately there is nothing new going on here. Scary possessed kid with white eyes and extended jaw running around. It’s not Ouija boards that are the problem, it is the damn kids. Get rid of the kids and everything will be fine. Children are just a damn gateway for evil. Put a Ouija board and a child together, you know bad shit is going to happen.
Because I am such a nerd one cool thing I thought they did that I am sure not many people will even notice or care about is, because the film is supposed to be set in the 60s and they tried to give that older film vibe. They actually put in a fake mark or cigarette burn for a real change in one of the scenes. It threw me for a second, I was like, what? This is digital why would that be there? Nice little wink to those of us that care about film.
The bigger question here is why do we have only one horror movie coming out in the month of October? You would think studios would capitalize on the fact that Halloween is going to guarantee sales of theatre tickets for a horror movie. How do you think this movie got made? It wasn’t because anyone demanded it, it was because it cost $5 million to make and grossed over double that in its opening weekend. Why? Because it was the only horror movie to go see the week before Halloween.
You know what other turds came out earlier that month, that piece of shit Annabelle movie and the unwatchable Dracula Untold. Ouija: Origin of Evil is better than all those movies, but when you compare them, is it really that hard to beat? And yet Rob Zombie’s 31 has no theatrical release. And I don’t want to hear your bitching about how shitty of a movie that was, because I would much rather see that type of movie in the theatre then another Hollywood movie about a kid possessed.
If you are easily scared or found movies like The Conjuring 2 to be enjoyable then Ouija: Origins of Evil is the movie for you. Thankfully there was no happy ending or someone in the theatre was going to get punched.
Check out the 31 Nights Of Halloween Horror channel.