The side-character of Betty deserves an Academy Award for her performance.
The Basic Premise
Ouija: Origin Of Evil tells the story of a single-mother (Elizabeth Reaser) who runs a scam Medium business with her two daughters (Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson). Like any horror film, shit inevitably goes down when a spirit enters her youngest daughter.
2016 has had some incredible horror films that are well crafted and have genuine moments of terror such as The Conjuring 2, Lights Out and Don’t Breathe… I can happily say that I will add Ouija: Origin Of Evil to that list.
This was probably the most surprising horror film I’ve seen this year because everything was going against it: 1) its title is based off a board game and 2) 2014’s Ouija was one of the worst things I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing so my expectations were at a low heading into it. Mike Flanagan directed one of my favourite horror films of the year, Hush so I was excited to see how he would handle this sequel that managed to garner a 82% on RT thus far compared to its 7% predecessor. It isn’t without its faults but as an overall film, it was incredibly enjoyable and I am definitely happy I checked it out this Haaaaalllloooowwwweeeennn!
My Thoughts On The Story And Characters
The camaraderie between Reaser and her two on-screen daughters was fantastic, I truly believed these three were a family and faced incredible hardship when their breadwinner passed away. Is it shitty to have a scam business and use your kids for said business? Yeeeeah.. But I can’t lie, I understand why she would feel the need to resort to such measures. To be fair, the Long Island Medium and dozens of others claim they “talk to the spirits” when in reality like 99% of it is all BS (in my opinion) so I can’t fault Reaser’s character too much. Her oldest daughter Lena, portrayed by Basso, gave a serviceable performance along with Reaser however there were certain moments where the latter just had words coming out of her mouth with virtually no emotions at all…
The standout for me was Wilson as the youngest daughter, Doris. She did a terrific job with the role and regardless of how ridiculous some of the things coming out of her mouth was, she rocked it. The secondary characters were pretty good too, they served the plot nicely and there was a character named Father Tom I particularly liked. There were certain moments that were reminiscent of one of the all-time greats, The Exorcist and I thought he & those moments were done pretty well.
The horror aspect to the film was also done well and although there were a couple of BOOMWHUPPAH! jump scares, there were one or two moments that genuinely frightened the shit out of me… MILD SPOILER Particularly Possessed Doris’ short monologue on strangulation… END MILD SPOILER.
The revelations made were spectacular and the first two acts were done splendidly, unfortunately it kind of loses its steam and becomes rather underwhelming in the final act following a major revelation made that honestly made me intrigued to see a film based off those events.
How Were The Other Aspects Of The Film?
If I had to say what was essentially flawless about this film, it’s certainly the portrayal of the time period. Oh my god it was a brilliant idea on the filmmakers to make this a period piece because if it were to suck, at least I would have still had a few oldie jams to nod my head to as what was occurring on screen sucked.
Everything from the clothing and music to the aesthetics, to even the littlest things like the old Universal opening and occasional flashes of blips on the right of the screen that engulfed me into this world and I loved it immensely. These didn’t go unnoticed, Mike!