Ouija (Movie Review)

Despite all their bad press, the world still continues to be fascinated by the Ouija Board, which is the focus for the latest horror movie by Universal Studios. Ouija was released on October 24, 2014 in the United States. Written by Juliet Snowden (Boogeyman 2005, Knowing 2009) and Stiles White (The Sixth Sense 1999, Jurassic Park III 2001) who also directed, Ouija tells the story of two friends, Laine and Debbie. As a young girl, Debbie finds a Ouija Board and they play together. There are three rules: never play alone, never play in a graveyard, and always say goodbye. If one looks through the ring of the planchette, they should be able to see any ghosts that are there. The first time they play it is a bit of fun for them, but they move on. As seniors in High School they remain best friends, and Laine (Olivia Cooke: Bates Motel series, The Quiet Ones 2014) is concerned when Debbie (Shelley Hennig: Teen Wolf 2014, Blue Bloods 2014) starts to become withdrawn and act strangely.

ouija still 3
Still from Ouija

Debbie confides in Laine that she found the Ouija Board again and had been playing it alone, breaking one of the rules. Since she played, weird things have been happening around her and she feels uneasy. Laine tries to convince Debbie to come to a party with her and their boyfriends, Trevor (Daren Kagasoff: The Secret Life of an American Teenager 2013, Stalker 2014) and Pete (Douglas Smith: Stage Fright 2014, Hard Drive 2014), and their friend, Isabelle (Bianca A. Santos: The Fosters 2014, Happyland 2014). Debbie refuses, and Laine goes to the party without her. The next day Debbie is dead, appearing to have killed herself, leaving her friends distraught. Laine cannot believe that Debbie would have done that. Laine’s determination to prove the truth as to how Debbie died takes her down a dark, twisted path.

Laine, her friends, and her troubled sister, Sarah (Ana Coto: Reality of Tomorrow 2010, DisCONNECTED 2011), start using the board in Debbie’s house to contact her and find out the truth surrounding her unexpected death. They initially believe they have contacted Debbie, so they start doing the things she says to do. It does not take long before the group realize they have made a fatal error, and Laine must think quickly to save them. They all struggle to keep it together, especially after they find out that they are all being stalked by something sinister that wants to do more than just freak them out. Laine starts looking into the board and its past, and Laine’s discoveries lead her to one of the sisters who used to live in Debbie’s house, Paulina Zander (Lin Shaye: Insidious 1 & 2, The Signal 2014). Laine thinks she may have finally found a way to fight the evil in the house that has attached itself to her and her friends. Or has she? What if they have been tricked again?

Still from Ouija
Still from Ouija

While the concepts in Ouija are not entirely original, the film does make the most of the twisted plot. It has plenty of surprises, and the ending is exciting and interesting. It is very well acted by a mostly young cast. Cooke as Laine in particular shows a maturity beyond her years, and is one to watch out for. The film has an intense, creepy feel to it, and the viewer will feel shivers down their spine. The special effects are seamless, and pull the audience right into the story, although the end feels like it comes too quickly. Lynne Shaye makes another foray into horror films and her diverse abilities are fast making her staple in the horror genre.  Ouija has plenty of blood and gore, and lots of genuine scares the viewer will enjoy. Judging by the way the story plays out, there is definitely room for a sequel.  A must watch for horror fans, and one of the best films to come out in 2014.  Cryptic Rock gives Ouija 5 out of 5.

ouija-movie-poster
Universal Pictures

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