July 21, 2020 Ouija Blood Ritual (Movie Review)
Found Footage films are arguably one of the most underrated gems in the modern Horror genre. When looking back on unique works such as 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, it set the tone and provided a stepping stone for others in the genre that would come after it. Since then, the Found Footage scene has blossomed, and Dustin Mills (Theater of The Deranged 2013, Slaughterhouse Slumber Party 2019) looks to follow in the footsteps of its counterparts with Ouija Blood Ritual.
Released through virtual cinemas on June 5th, as well as on Blu-Ray, DVD, and VOD on June 30th via Phantom Pain Films, Ouija Blood Ritual takes us on a journey via found footage uncovered by the Pierce Police Department in Tacoma, Washington. The following footage was said to have belonged to three filmmakers shooting a web series, whose intentions are to debunk famous urban legends and rituals.
However, things go horribly wrong when filmmakers Kayla (Kayla Elizabeth: Frankenstein 2011, Human Nature 2017), Dustin (Dustin Mills), and Rob (Rob Grant: The Low Lives 2019, Stranger Danger 2020) decide to perform a blood ritual. It is here they summon more than what they bargained for as an ancient evil entity seeks to consume their daily lives.
While Ouija Blood Ritual has all the intentions plot-wise of being a gem to add to the growing collection of Found Footage films, Ouija Blood Ritual sadly misses the mark. The opening of the film sets the tone nicely with techniques heavily used in the aforementioned The Blair Witch Project, however, it is a technique that has been overdone. Sadly, this pails in comparison to other more recent Found Footage films such as 2015’s Hell House LLC.
While this can be easily forgiven, it is also the only problem that exists within Ouija Blood Ritual. The plot in itself has been used time and again, but if executed well, can produce amazing results. Unfortunately, as much as a you want to become invested in such an experience, the story and its characters consistently fail to provide something worth investing the effort into. In fact, for a film that is over an hour and sixteen minutes in length, most of the running time is used unwisely due to its characters having terribly written dialogue that leads to nowhere.
Many of the scenes focus too much on pointless activities, where it could have been used elsewhere to further develop the story. All this said, despite the inconsistencies within the story and character build-up, Ouija Blood Ritual should be applauded for the risks it takes for a low budget production. Perhaps if they had a slightly bigger budget the magic that proceeds to happen within the later half of the film would have fared better.
Overall, if you are willing to put up with substandard acting and a few setup issues plot-wise, the unpolished executions of scares throughout the film are easy to overlook. If you are a fan of the genre that is fine with low budget productions, it is worth the watch. That is why Cryptic Rock give Ouija Blood Ritual 2 out of 5 stars.