Ouija: Origin of Evil Review

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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.

 

 

 

 

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The girl in the foreground is the film’s centerpiece played by Lulu Wilson. This shot is the beginning of the action as the Ouija board is playing for the first time.

 

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

November to Remember

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There is a heavenly experience up top and a hellish experience at the bottom.

 

Some Studio Information: The more you know

If there in anytime for a movie critic and a casual goer to go to the movies it is the months of November to December for two reasons:

  1. People have holidays during this time and movie studios know that we are more likely to spend money. In other words, studios put on their biggest blockbuster movies that they know are good and cost a hell of a lot of money to make. This gives them a sizable profit
  2. Award ceremonies like the Academy Awards are up and around the corner. Studios decide to release their most compelling works at this time. Is is so award voters have these spectacular movies fresh in their minds by voting time.

For reason one, that is why last year movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spectre and Mockingjay were released

And is it a coincidence that movies like Brooklyn, The Revenant, The Big Short, Creed, Joy, Anomalisa, and Room were all released during that time of the year? I don’t think so.

November to Remember: A Commemoration

In commemoration for this time of the year, I am going to review one movie per day. All these movies were past releases in 2016 that I had missed that were either critically acclaimed or critically panned. The idea being that the movies are either so good or so bad that I won’t be able to forget it. Oh and also I will be reviewing movies that are coming around during the month of November.

That way it will be a November to Remember.

The Schedule

For the first week will be commemorating the event of Halloween so expect to see some good and bad thrillers/horror movies in this box.

1/11/16: 10 Cloverfield Lane

2/11/16: Green Room

3/11/16: Cabin Fever

4/11/16: The Conjuring 2

5/11/16: Ouija Origin of Evil

6/11/16: The Accountant

7/11/16: Hacksaw Ridge

The second-week will cover some comedies. Some that are comedies and others that are alleged comedies

8/11/16: Everybody Wants Some!!!

9/11/16: Cafe Society

10/11/16: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

11/11/16: Amateur Night

12/11/16: Norm of the North

13/11/16: Arrival

14/11/16: Fifty Shades of Black

 

The Third Week will consist of a lot of interesting movies in general

15/11/16: Tale of Tales

16/11/16: When Marnie was There

17/11/16: The Fifth Wave

18/11/16: Criminal

19/11/16: Where to Invade Next

20/11/16: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

21/11/16: Maggie’s Plan

 

The Final days will consist of the best of the best

22/11/16: Trumbo

23/11/16: (I don’t know yet. I’ll think of something)

24/11/16: Hell or High Water

25/11/16: The Founder

26/11/16: Bad Santa 2

27/11/16: Eye in the Sky

28/11/16: The Lobster

29/11/16: Son of Saul

30/11/16: Room

Obviously, the schedule is subject to change. There is a lot of shifting gears. I have prewritten a fair few of them but not all. If I happen to see a film that blows me away it will be moved into the final week of course 🙂

And that is pretty much it.