A prequel to the 2014 Ouija film, Ouija: Origin of Evil sees a solo mother; Alice Zander with two young daughters; Paulina and Alice trying to survive in the late 1960’s era L.A.
Scraping out a living as a Fortune Teller with the aide of teenage Paulina, Alice gives readings and contacts the dead for innocent paying customers who believe the farce is real.
A rigged reading table that will ‘react’ when the dead are near under the control of Alice, and this is where the film starts out with its scares. Very soon though the readings that Alice does become very very real…
Whilst at a friends party that she snuck out for (and to also meet a boy), Pauline, the oldest daughter comes across a Ouija Board. Together with her friends they begin to experiment with the Parker Brothers ‘Board Game’.
Paulina later suggests to her mum, Alice, that she includes a Ouija Board in to her repertoire. And so it begins.
Watching through the film my hunch was that the supernatural forces we were about to witness were going to attack the awkward teenage Paulina. I was however, very wrong.
The youngest, nine year old Alice suddenly has an imaginary friend and begins to channel the dead, very quickly assisting with her mums private readings. Things get darker, of course, as the entity gains the family’s trust and takes over Alice.
Eventually a Priest is called in to investigate, with fatally disastrous results.
Ouija: Origins of Evil plays out like many a horror film we have seen before. Seemingly sticking to a tried and true formula, it relies on quick fright moments to scare its audience, and it does this really well.
It’s not until more of the story is revealed and what the entity is and what it wants that the narrative gets a bit more juice to it’s flow.
For the more observant viewers there are a whole stack of subliminal events to keep an eye out for and to give it a more realistic feel, i.e. supernatural occurrences don’t always happen when the camera is solely focused on Alice.
Ouija: Origins of Evil is a personal recommendation from myself as a seasoned horror fan. It creates an atmosphere and sets an eerie tone almost immediately and does not over utilise the horror genre. There is no gore, no bloodfests. But it is also very generic and a possible watch once only film, but one that you will not easily forget.
Running Time: 99 MIN
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas, Parker Mack, Doug Jones
Production Studio: Allspark Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Hasbro Studios, Platinum Dunes, Intrepid Pictures
Distributor: Universal Pictures