By Melissa Antoinette Garza
I was not a fan of the predecessor to this film. I love movies about Ouija boards, but it failed to scare. It was the typical horror film that followed teenagers contacting the other side. It just didn’t do it well.
Thankfully, OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL took some pointers from THE CONJURING (2013) series and created something that was interesting, scary and had believable characters within it. Also, the powers-that-be intelligently hired writer and director Mike Flanagan, who wrote and directed the vastly underrated OCULUS (2013).
Flanagan was even able to take the boring forgettable OUIJA (2014) and use some of the characters to create this fantastic prequel. The movie begins in 1967 with Alice (Elizabeth Reaser) and her two daughters, teenage Lina (Annalise Basso) and very young Doris (Lulu Wilson). Alice pretends to be psychic and enlists the help of Lina and Doris to make seemingly supernatural events occur.
To assist with her clients, Alice purchases a Ouija board believing it to be just a game. She uses magnets on her table and on the planchette for control. It doesn’t take long for Doris to be possessed. Alice wanting the chance to speak with her ex-husband is excited. Lina is a bit more apprehensive as she sees changes in her little sister’s behavior.
Doris starts writing in cursive, her voice changes to represent who the client wants to talk to, and she begins to write in Polish. Lina runs to her Catholic school principal, Father Hogan (Henry Thomas) and asks for his help. He suspects that Doris is not channeling the people Alice believes she is, but something far more sinister.
I don’t want to give any spoilers or ruin any great scenes, but I will say that the visuals are fantastic. The last act is by far the best, but the entire movie is solid. It’s scary, unique and has believable characters portrayed by fantastic actors.
Anyone searching for a great modern horror film that they haven’t seen yet. Look no further. Flanagan delivers again. I honestly wish this was kept separate from the original OUIJA movie as I think the association hurt its success. Hopefully enough people rent and buy this, so that we see another in the series.
Scared Stiff Rating: 8/10