“Ouija: Origin of Evil” stars Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, and Henry Thomas. Released on October 21, 2016, the film is about a mother and her two daughters who encounter supernatural forces from the Ouija board.
The film is directed by Mike Flanagan, who also directed films such as Absentia, Oculus, and Hush. It is a prequel to the 2014 horror film, Ouija, which is based on the actual Ouija board made by Hasbro. Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s time for me to watch something that’ll probably scare the crud out of me. Yay… Ouija was released in theaters two years ago and managed to become a modest box office hit despite receiving a lot of bad reviews from critics. I actually got a chance to watch the first film on HBO a couple of weeks ago since I didn’t see that in the theater. It was creepy. Nothing special. Just creepy. I was a little concerned about how critics would react to this since the first trailer hit, but as it got closer to its official release, I was pretty surprised at how many good reviews this film is getting compared to its predecessor. Now that I got a chance to view it for myself, was it really as good as the critics are saying or did the spirits actually forced them to say good things about it?
Instead of continuing the franchise with a sequel, the film rolls back the clock to the 1960s, 50 years before the events of the first film. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know what you’re going to expect from this film: supernatural beings and plenty of scares. However, you might be surprised that there’s more to the story than what is shown in the marketing. From my point of view, I was impressed at how much they improved on the story and characters compared to its predecessor. It does have some predictable moments, however, especially since it takes place before the first film, but the way they execute the storyline was quite good. I believe this is one of those horror films that focuses more on making us care about the characters rather than using them as their little play things. Speaking of characters, they’re portrayed very well by the actors and actresses, most notably Lulu Wilson as Doris. She’s one of my main highlights of this film because of her innocence and her creepiness…mostly the creepiness. Seriously, you do not want to be around her when she starts acting weird. Of course, it wouldn’t be a horror film without some scares, and some of them were pretty effective without relying so much on the loud sounds to scare people. Combined with its creepy atmosphere and some disturbing imagery, Flanagan managed to create a scary experience that’s both engaging and heart-pounding. I also liked that the film’s style fits the time period, mostly the Universal logo.
Overall, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” is what the first film should’ve been to begin with: a horror event that has equal amounts of story, characters, and scares. I’m serious, I was actually surprised at how good this film was. I’m pretty sure that those who didn’t like the first film are probably planning on skipping this, but if you’re still curious about seeing it, I recommend that you do. You might be surprised as well.