I was shocked to death when I saw a trailer for a new OUIJA movie. That film made enough money to warrant a sequel? Needless to say, I barely paid attention to the preview. It wasn't until I saw it again that interest peaked. It was a prequel (oh dear) set in the 60's or 70's and it actually looked creepy as hell. But come on, it has to be a piece of crap! Doesn't it?
Talking with a friend at work we convinced ourselves it was worth a shot. The movie was coming to us from the people behind OCULUS and HUSH. Two very effective horror films! So I was sold. And even if the movie sucked, kudos to Universal Pictures for releasing a horror film in October. What a concept!
With OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL being a prequel I was really hoping one didn't have to see the original first? Turns out you don't thank goodness. More on that later. The movie takes place in 1967 Los Angeles. A widowed mother with the help of her two daughters runs a seance business out of her home. The oldest calls it like she see's it and considers what they do a scam. She isn't wrong. But the mom reassures her that what they do gives comfort to people.
One night Lina (the oldest) sneaks out to go to a friends house. Her and her friends mess with a new game called Ouija. A good scare happens and Lina thinks the board will be a good addition to her mothers business.
Alice (the mom) takes up her daughters suggestion and buys a Ouija. She doctor's it up a bit and gets the scam ready. But unbeknownst to her, a evil force is invited into their home. Slowly her youngest daughter Doris gets possessed and the horror begins.
QUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is really good. I can't remember the last time (especially in the horror genre) where a sequel was “night and day” better than the original. This isn't a EMPIRE STRIKES BACK situation. This is more like if THE SHINING was a sequel to THE FOURTH KIND.
The thing I love most about the movie is that it's creepy as hell! And on top of that there is no annoying jump-scares. The scariest moments in OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is the long drawn out moments of silence. And the pay off is spooky, not just a jump-scare.
I was continuously surprised. Just about every time I thought the movie was going to do something dumb, the outcome happened to be smart. There's a scene when Doris puts the magnifying piece thingy ( It has a name, I just don't know it) to her eye and looks around the room. I thought typical jump-scare coming right up! But no, all we get is a reaction. A slow burn. Doris does this two more times in the film and it gets scarier each time. Refreshingly brilliant if you ask me!
The acting in this is really good! Every character is given material where you care about them as the story progresses. One of my favorite character moments is when the mom meets her oldest daughters guy friend. She gives him “the talk” and it's a great scene!
By no means is this film a perfect movie. I had some major problems with it toward the end. I won't go into spoilers too much, but the filmmakers decided to go all psychological at the end and it really didn't work for me. I could be wrong but I'm calling it a studio ending.
Even with talking myself into seeing the movie, I almost waited to just rent OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL. What got me out of the house and into the theater was that I heard the director made the film look vintage. It's set in 1967 and you can tell. With whatever techniques and after effects they used the end result turned out great. Not at all did it feel gimmicky to me.
In conclusion, I highly recommend OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL. If you're interested in seeing it I highly suggest seeing it on the big screen. I'm glad I did!