Friday, November 4, 2016

Movie Review: Ouija: The Origin of Evil

I know, suspend your disbelief, even though this movie came out weeks ago, I really wanted to see it, so I did. The original was, not good, to say the least. The idea that a Ouija board is dangerous is nothing new. If you’re like me, and you love watching those TV shows about people being haunted (my fave is A/The Haunting on Destination America), then you are familiar with the idea that a spirit board is a way to talk to those on ‘the other side’ – the other side being people who are dead who haven’t passed on. This movie takes that idea and turns it into something that should be terrifying. People use these things as toys, but caution should be exercised because one has no idea who is using the spirit board. In other words, you don’t know who is talking. In the movies, they always make it seem like someone is just messing around. Truthfully, we just don’t know. It could be a spirit, it could be a mystery breeze, it could be someone passing gas, who knows. If you don’t believe in that sort of thing, this movie will just be ridiculous. If you do believe, then go ahead and keep reading and maybe go see the movie.

The movie begins with a séance. The woman running the séance looked strangely familiar (turns out it was Esme from the Twilight movies). The story centers around a single mother who makes a living, seemingly, by scamming people out of their money by pretending to reach out to their recently deceased. (The opening sequence had Bernard (from Lost) in it. When she asked for his wife’s name, I inadvertently said ‘Rose’ aloud.) The family is struggling with money and when one of the girls (the older one) goes out one night, playing with an Ouija board with her friends, she suggests the idea to her mother. For whatever reason, the mother decides that pretending to be a psychic is more valuable than getting a real job, but that isn’t really relevant to the story. Once the Ouija board becomes part of the act, the youngest kid takes a turn at it, getting the triangle thing to move without touching it. What should be alarming to her mother is treated as wonderful. This should be a sign to the viewer that the movie won’t improve in content from here.

An Ouija board is not a toy. That is the main lesson of this movie. In many ways, this is good life advice. Talking to ghosts or entities that aren’t there is never a good idea. Needless to say, the movie doesn’t end well for basically everyone, except maybe Bernard. There were a ton of jump scares. I spent a good amount of the movie with my eyes covered. With respect to my Hina test, this movie didn’t do all that well. I will have to fail it. There were no people other than white people in this movie. The female characters were central to the story, but none of them were really strong. The mom almost was, but then, until the priest (because, of course there’s a priest in a horror movie) comes along, she’s not sure what to do. Thank goodness a single white man came along to save her and her family. The movie did reflect the late 1960’s accurately with the lack of diversity and women in power, but otherwise, this was a fail on all fronts. The story was entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised at how scary the movie was.

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