Ouija: Film Review – New concept, same old scares

Ouija is a famous board game where two or more players try to get answers from the occult. For this, they use a planchette, which points to the alphabets and words printed on the board. There are numerous campfire tales that recount how people, who have used the board, died the worst deaths imaginable. Yet, people continue buying the board. Yet, an entire movie has been made on the same ominous board.

Laine and Debbie (Olivia Cooke and Shelley Hennig) are childhood besties, who know the rules of the game well. But the older Debbie disregards these rules and ends up dead. Unable to deal with her death, Laine and the rest of the gang come together to contact her spirit through the Ouija board. But instead of Debbie, they end up waking the other spirits who reside in the house.

Shadows appear in the mirror, doors creak open, things fly about and everything predictable in a usual horror flick happens to the hapless cast. Ouija is a movie best enjoyed while on a sleepover with your buddies, where scary stories can be told to add the creepy effect. Because, that is what this film lacks in heavy doses. It just isn’t scary. On the whole, it is an average affair with no memorable dialogues and scene after scene of boring mumbo-jumbo.

Decent camera work by David Emmerichs is probably the film’s only saving grace. That and a few scary scenes in the second half. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of jump scares, which after a while become incredibly predictable. The teenage actors work well with what they are given. But if acting scared is all they have to do, then they didn’t have to do much! The movie might entertain a teenage audience, while others just may be disappointed. If you are looking for a serious scare this Halloween, Ouija is not the film for you.

Writer-Director Stiles White has haphazardly put together several disconnected scenes for a movie, which is obviously a promotional gimmick (because Hasbro owns the Ouija brand). The question here is, would you really try to sell a board game that brings dead people back to life?

Why should you watch this film?

Ouija uses a fresh concept, which hasn’t been seen a lot in the horror film genre. Unless you count the much better 1986 film, Witchboard. It packs a few scares and has a notable twist that makes it mildly interesting. But beyond that, it just falls apart.

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