Another film to jump on the 60/70s vibe that was utilised so well in The Conjuring series and this itself is a prequel to the Ouija film of 2014 (which I haven’t actually seen). In this film a young daughter of a Fortune Teller plays around with a Ouija board and, surprise surprise, gets possessed. There is more to this story but that is the main gist of it.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is slow to begin with, building up and putting all the pieces in the right place, it eventually gets going and does well to bring on the frights, ramping up the tension, and a little bit of fear, until the finale. It does take the finale slightly too far in my opinion, changing the feeling of the film a little bit, moving away from what it was to begin with. Still, these kind of films do have an effect on me, don’t know why maybe it’s just unseen beings preying on receptive individuals that does it, who knows. Either way, there are some effective scares in this, the effects are pretty good as well, nothing is too over the top and are utilised well when needed. The rest is pretty much all down to decent performances from the central cast. Elizabeth Reaser as Alice Zander, mother of the two girls, Lina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson – who has done a surprising amount of horror films for such a young actor!): all three portray the family unit really well, developing the fear and loss of control of the situation as the film progresses. The script and story isn’t the best but it is a good effort.
Writer and director Mike Flanagan obviously knows his horror films. Having been at the helm for Gerald’s Game, Before I Wake, Hush and Oculus he is a safe-ish pair of hands for a film in this genre. As far as supernatural horrors go, this is fair to middling. Nothing to get overly excited about, not too many jump scares but a good atmosphere that builds well through to the end. Add in the performances around the Zander family and it becomes a decent watch.
Horror Rating: ★★ ½☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★ ½☆☆