Ouija: Origin of Evil Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"
Writers: Mike Flanagan & Jeff Howard
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso, Henry Thomas
Running Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
Where It Can Be Seen: In Theaters Now!
Filmmaker Mike Flanagan continues on with his reign of delivering horror films that not only actually scares it's viewers; but builds tension, and has heart. In complete contrast from the first Ouija movie, which came off as your run of the mill teen supernatural horror flick, and don't get me wrong, has its fan base; but this one had a story about family, and did have a lot of heart to it.
As opposed to the previous film that took place in the present time, this one takes place in 1965. Back to where it all began and the Ouija "game" hit shelves for the first time. This film does tap into the whole, "Is it real, or is it just another game that people will buy into because of their personal beliefs and end up taking too seriously?" The story is lead by a mother (Elizabeth Reaser) who is trying to keep her family of two daughters (Lulu Wilson & Annalise Basso) afloat financially by banning together and owning their own seance scam using a collection of clever tricks to make it seem like the seance is really happening. Until the Ouija is introduced into their household as an added gag but soon realize the game is not just a game. With the father/husband dead but is regularly talked about through out the film (which does add to the emotional weight and center of the film), the only father figure to these two girls is their priest and principal of their school, played by Henry Thomas. Whom you might know as the little boy who played Elliott in 1982's E.T.
Typically in supernatural horror/thrillers it's all about the scares. Scare after scare. What I loved with what Mike Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard did with the story is sprinkle in dramatic performances through out to really make you care about the characters and especially the family. Because the moment bad things begin to happen, you want to feel a sense of danger for them. And I feel like Mike and Jeff accomplished that well. The scares were definitely present. However they weren't constantly in your face, like one moment in particular that had such an effective jump scare that I nearly choked on a piece of popcorn. There were moments of subtle creepiness and tension. And I can appreciate and respect those moments more so than the blatant failed attempts at throwing jump scare after jump scare you like most other horror flicks out there. It's Ouija: Origin of Evil is genuinely scary, heartfelt, and downright entertaining!