Ouija: Origin of Evil is the prequel to the 2014 surprise hit also called Ouija. It happens to be the only “horror” movie released this October which traditionally has been a huge month for horror releases. The story starts off with a widowed mother, Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser), doing a seance with an elderly man who is desperate to hear from his dead wife. Now if you have seen the trailer, you’d know that this is all a scam which involves her two daughters Pauline (Annalise Basso) and nine year old Doris (Lulu Wilson) assisting their mother.
After playing with a Ouija board at a party, Pauline convinces her mother to buy one as prop for their scam seances. As soon as they take it home something starts making contact with the family, especially little Doris. To no one’s surprise, these entities turn out to be less than friendly.
Ouija: Origin of Evil stands apart from others in the same subgenre for a number of reasons. Firstly, one could easily watch this as a stand alone film without the need to see the 2014 release.
Secondly, director Mike Flanagan understood that there is no reason to take haunted stories as seriously as others have previously. The creators inject a lot of fun moments which will leave audience members chuckling away before the jump scares.
Lastly, it skips out on a lot of cliches which horror fans are all too familiar with. There is no splitting up the group because “things will get done quicker” and they figure out that talking about their plans for the entities, while still inside the house, is a bad idea.
You may not be familiar with the names of the talented actors involved but you will recognise their faces. Though the star of the show is undoubtedly Lulu Wilson – she has the ability and appearance to look innocent and menacing at the same time – she also provides a lot of the humorous moments throughout the film.
The weakest part of the storyline has to do with the absurd relationship between mother and daughter in the second half. Alice claims to be a responsible parent, yet she allows her nine year old child to channel unknown entities and skip school for the sake of money. Even after her eldest daughter and school priest discuss their concerns regarding Doris with her.
Despite its premise and what promotions would have you believe, Ouija: Origin of Evil (rated PG) is not a horror film. It’s more of a mystery thriller with a lot of fun jump scares. It may not be perfect, but it’s certainly entertaining and engaging enough for you to have an enjoyable time at the cinema.
I give it 6 out of 10 stars.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is in cinemas now.