Written by Nelson Cumming
It’s pretty rare that a horror movie franchise does not contract the disease sequelitis. Not only does Ouija: Origin of Evil improve on the original but it beats it by leaps and bounds. The one thing that sprung into my head while watching Ouija: Origin of Evil was how predictable, yet how scary the moments were. If you are the niche demographic that likes horror movies and you like demonic possession on a little girl but without the torture porn and the splatter you will find this movie great to watch.
As flippant as that idea sounds, Ouija: Origin of Evil doesn’t resort to lazy jump scares or crappy acting. When I saw the set design and the acting and the selective camera angles it become obvious that the makers cared about what they were making. It was like watching a 4-year-old not only colour in the lines but also got the right colours in the right places. You think “This is amazing, normally their drawings are crap” I had a similarly surprised reaction when I watched this movie
As I have already mentioned, what makes it odd is that it follows nearly every horror cliche in the book right from the setup. The setup is this family who makes a living being fake fortune tellers. After deciding that getting an Ouija board as a good prop do things start to go wrong.
To say that this is a madhouse would be saying something. 95% of the scare scenes relies on the little girl called Doris played by Lulu Wilson. She was absolutely fantastic. She has trumped Neel Sethi from the Jungle Book as the best child actor of the year. The variety of things she says will make you feel bad vibes all around. If you look at her eyes you will know something is wrong. It sets up the suspense.
They have shot this movie so well. Even though the thrill rides are the suspense and the scares but there are certain, specific camera angles, set up pieces and Easter eggs. It shows the filmmakers cared.
The movie pays homage to the 1960’s (the time of the story) by showing the old Universal logo, the old title card and even the cigarette burns on the top right-hand corner of the screen (Signifying to a projectionist to change reels) I looked up at the projection window to see if a projectionist was there despite the fact it was all digital. It felt so authentic.
Finally, I love the way the movie builds. It starts off as slightly unsettling before it goes on into full on scare mode by the climax. The build is what makes the pay-offs work in this movie. If you see the jump scares by themselves, they look really hokey and stupid. The movie will have it’s moments where you know they are kicking it up a level and the best was still to come. That is what helps make a good movie
Aside from a crappy predictable ending and minor pacing issues, I gotta admit Ouija: Origin of Evil is great. By the climax, I was cowering in my seat but I was man enough not to scream! What didn’t leave me 10 minutes after watching it were the chills running down my spine. ****1/4