Movie Review: Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

Another horror film from Mike Flanagan (Hush, Before I Wake, Oculus), Ouija: Origin of Evil is the 2016 prequel to the first film, Ouija, released in 2014. Set in 1967 Los Angeles, this prequel tells the story, hinted at in the original, of the Zander family, including mother Alice (Elizabeth Reaser), and daughters Doris (Lulu Wilson) and Lina (Annalise Basso). As Alice uses theatricality and deception to fake seances to provide for her family, the women are surprised when Doris shows a real connection to the other side through a regular Ouija board. Unsurprisingly, things get worse.

+ hot damn Doris (Wilson) is terrifying. Her wide eyes, and constantly smiling mouth make her extra creepy once she starts saying some particularly messed up things. Granted, much of the creepiness would be CGI additions (or at least, I certainly hope it was)
+ Alice (Reaser) and Lina (Basso) are fine as supporting characters, and whilst it is true they don’t have quite as much fun to have with creepy lines, they never quite jump into full on main character territory
+ overall, the film is scary. There are not many jump scares, or at least there is never the build up to a sudden loud noise. Often the scariest moments are the ones that happen in the background, or are things like silhouettes or subtle twitches
+ as a prequel, it added to the mystique of the original film without creating any major plot-holes. I re-watched the original/sequel after watching this, and nothing stood out as being ruined from this film
+ horror films being set in the recent past make for much more enjoyable, and believable, scares. No wifi or mobile phones make for much less headscratching on my part

Should you see this film: Despite the lack of negatives above, I can’t say this was entirely perfect. But it was such a solid experience that any negatives I could list would be nitpicking. This was significantly better than it’s predecessor in almost every way, and you should definitely see this movie.


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