You remember the movie Ouija? It was a stupid, boring film, with the only redeeming qualities being a short run time and a pretty cast (sorry if I have offended anyone). However, there must have been enough interest in it to warrant Michael Bay to produce another movie about Mattel’s popular spirit connection game. Based on the trailers though, it seems they might have learned their lesson when making this prequel and taken things back to the scary side. Robbie K here, and tonight I’m reviewing Ouija: Origin of Evil. Let’s get to work.
- Well-developed story
- A Halloween thriller
The last movie tried its best to scare us with corny jump scares, one spirit we barely got a glimpse of, and a too beautiful cast of spoiled teens to kill off. Good news, they threw all of that out, only salvaging the forgotten names of spirit’s family and the creepy house it took place in. Set in the 70s, the scare factor of this film comes in many forms, which will surely send tingles down your spine, or at least give you a disturbing feeling that something is lurking in the walls of your theater. The creepy little girl will bear the brunt of load with raspy whispers, an innocent (but oh so sinister) smile, and that high pitched voice that always is disturbing in possessed kids. Origins also has plenty of things lurking in the dark, bodies distorting to the paranormal, and a few jump scares to balance the load. The directors build up the scares in this flick, while keeping your skin crawling.
Even more surprising is how the scares are integrated into a surprisingly decent story for a horror movie. Origin’s plot starts out like most other films as a family struggling to make it after a life altering event. Somehow they stumble into the Ouija board and, what do you know, bad things start to happen as they mess with the spirit world. It’s not original, but it is miles better than the original plot. The mystery behind Doris’ transformation is pretty messed up and can be described as a mashup of poltergeist meets malicious science. While cheesy at times, the tale fits in well with the Halloween spirit, including an ending that will thrill you darker ending fans.
- Hardly get to see the ghost
- Not much suspense
- Rather rushed at times
In a horror movie, less is often a good thing as the imagination can paint a much scarier picture than make up can. Still with all the alliteration, I would have liked to have seen more of the malicious spirits that dwelled in the walls. Oh sure you get a decent, if not awkward scene of the black specter, but I had hoped the digital shroud of darkness would morph into something more gruesome. Either that or at least more screen time that extend past milky white eyes.
The limited screen time of the ghost pales in comparison to the lack of suspense in the movie. Much of this is due to the fact that the ghost just paraded around in the skin of a young girl, which while creepy wasn’t as threatening. The spirit’s goal was also never really explained, and what little light was shed did little to impress or hype up the story. A few bouts got the heart pumping, but they fizzled out like a Fourth of July firework in the rain. And since we already know how the events will turn out, the only thing I looked forward to was seeing how everything came together.
As for the story, it has a good, malicious backbone, but needs some finessing to help bring it to the full potential. They burn through much their plot at rapid speed, spending little time to draw out mystery or provide opportunities for the characters to develop. All so they can cram in more of the little girl defying physics and looking malformed . While creepiness is what you are going for, the lackluster climax packs little punch and leaves you wondering just how many times can a character get thrown across the room without breaking a bone. But despite the rushed plot and dull edge…Origins plot is still miles ahead of the game if not a little inconsistent should you remember the original’s plots.
Despite all its faults, Ouija origins is the creepy Halloween horror of this season. The eerie atmosphere, insidious ghoul, and disturbing manipulations will get your skin crawling and the story isn’t half bad either. Improvements aside, Origins still has some work to do in order to reach the greater heights it strive to achieve. More plot development, a little more threat tagged on with the spirit, and some deeper suspense are required if they choose to make a sequel. And if any developing directors read this review, make sure to cast the little girl again…she is a valuable asset. Is this worthy of a theater visit? I suggest you wait on this one, and revisit a classic this Halloween.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.5