We Have to Play Here

Ouija Review

Ouija

In one of my recent reviews, I stated that I try to keep as far away from other people’s opinions as possible. We all know that it’s impossible to never read or hear another’s view on something, so because of this, I inevitably ran into people’s thoughts on Stiles White’s supernatural flick, Ouija. It seems to have received a ton of negative reviews and I tried my hardest to ignore these and just go in with a clear mind, but sadly, the various internet opinions were actually right this time around…

Ouija starts off with a paranoid Debbie who is blowing off her friend once again, without reason. Something is up and whatever it is has now caused her to commit suicide. Upon learning about her friend’s tragic and sudden death, Laine just can’t believe it. She feels a strong presence in the house and convinces the rest of her friends to play with Debbie’s Ouija (it’s pronounced wee-jaa, as we learned in Witchboard) board in hopes of contacting their deceased friend and finding out the truth. After what they thought was a successful communication, they return to play once more. They soon realize that they have not contacted Debbie, but instead have opened up a gateway that they must now figure out how to close.

The premise of this film sounds pretty decent and had potential to be really great. While there have been a handful of horror flicks based on the popular spirit board already, it’s always nice to welcome another into the genre. The problem is that Ouija didn’t feel like a film for die-hard fanatics. There were some scenes that made this film feel almost like a Final Destination throwback, but unfortunately that vibe didn’t continue throughout the film’s entirety. I got the odd feeling that this was more for sporadic horror audiences, the ones that don’t necessarily love the genre, but go on a scary movie date once in a while.

Not all was lost, however. I think there were a few positives here. I was extremely excited to hear that Olivia Cook would be returning to the horror scene because I’ve loved her since day one of Bates Motel and rather enjoyed her work in The Quiet Ones, also released in 2014. She did a great job as the film’s main protagonist and the seeker of truth for her friend’s unsuspected demise. I’m sure if I paid closer attention to the film’s original release, I would have been aware of this already, but it was quite a pleasant surprise to see horror alum, Lin Shaye, pop up seemingly out of nowhere. She did an awesome job as the locked away, surviving sister of the malicious spirit and added a nice touch to the film that was struggling most of the way through. While I thought Cook and Shaye helped move Ouija along more smoothly, they just weren’t enough to make this a good film.

There were some legitimately creepy moments, but the rest of Ouija felt too familiar and wasn’t quite enough to stand out amongst other theatrical supernatural releases of the past. It was a good try, but I don’t see much replay value here. You can pick up a copy on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Universal today. Let me know if you agree with me at all or if I’m completely off the mark, in the comments below.

I give this film 2.5 strings of light out of 5.

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