Benjamin Maio Mackay
Ouija: Origin of Evil - 2.5 Stars
Tense, but often slow - this film isn’t atrocious, but certainly not the greatest horror movie ever.
Set in the late 1960s, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a simple story about a widowed mother, Alice Zander, who with her daughters (Paulina and Doris), hold séances to connect desperate bereaved individuals seeking to connect with lost family members, as a means of attempting to make ends meet. When Paulina suggests adding the Ouija board game to the props used to in the “family business”, life from the other side really invades their lives. The rest of the movie deals with the struggle endured by the family as they attempt wrestle back their lives.
While horror movies don’t need to rely on sophisticated stories, they do need to generate tension. The director achieves this at times through the use of some good effects, such as the when Doris (played by Lulu Wilson) attempts to see the spirits. The music is used to good effect. What is missing, however, is a sustained level of suspense arising from overly drawn-out passages of film that are interspersed with some predictable horror-genre effects. So don’t be surprised to see a few things move, hear some noises or see some scary-looking children!
Despite the slowness of the film, all is not bad. The actors, in particular Lulu Wilson and Annalise Basso give solid performances given what they have to work with. The film is well shot.
Overall it’s likely to please an undemanding audience seeking something to make them jump, but not too often.
Review by Mark Mackay
Screening courtesy of Universal Entertainment