Movie Review: Ouija

 

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After watching the new Ouija film, I felt like the tag line for the movie should have been: “Same old scary game with NEW young faces!”. That’s how I felt watching the movie. It was the same basic story as any other movie centered around the Ouija board game. The only difference was a new, younger cast for a younger audience. And I know that is typical, especially in the world of horror. But some of the acting in this movie made me feel like it was damn near soap opera quality. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me that’s getting old.

Anyways, the movie begins with Debbie, a young girl who tries to destroy a Ouija board by throwing it in a fire only for it to reappear undamaged. Soon after, she hangs herself in her house. Soon after, her friend Laine cannot let go of her friend’s sudden death. She decides that she wants to try to use the Ouija board to communicate with Debbie. She gets her sister Sarah, her boyfriend Trevor, Debbie’s boyfriend Pete, and their friend Isabelle to do this with her and they think they have talked to Debbie. But they soon find out that it wasn’t Debbie at all. In fact, it was another spirit living inside the house that Debbie was communicating with.

This spirit they have contacted starts to haunt them all and soon more of the friends begin to die unusual deaths. Laine finds out whose spirit is in the house and thinks she has ended the nightmare for good until she realizes she was lied to. Now, with almost everyone dead, Laine and Sarah must try to stop this evil spirit before it kills them too.

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While the film definitely had its “jump scares” scattered throughout, bland storytelling and subpar acting really just hurt this film. The one actress I enjoyed was Olivia Wilde, who played the main character Laine. I have seen her before in Bate’s Motel where she is really good. And she also did a pretty good job in Ouija as well. But the rest of the acting suffered severely in this movie. And to be fair, I don’t know if it was a product of inexperience or of a poor story.

This style of ghost story has been too many times to even remember. It is has been done over and over and it is just stale by this point. Even though this movie wasn’t a remake or reboot, it felt like a rerun. Everyone has seen this story before. There just happens to be a Ouija board in there this time.

There hasn’t been a true Ouija board movie in a long time. But this film is not the one to satisfy one’s hungry for a good movie based on the supposedly evil board game. I guess I shouldn’t have expected so much after seeing how Battleship turned out. But I guess I was looking for a film to intrigue me like switchboard did. Or one of the countless other VHS boxes with a Ouija on it that sat on movie rental shelves when I was younger. But I guess I can’t complain too much. At least Hasbro hasn’t served us up a Lite-Brite or Easy Bake Oven movie. Yet.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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