Review by Myra Rehman for Mr. Will Wong
The attraction towards the Ouija Board that was introduced in the 1800’s has grown significantly throughout the ages across cultures. It is a mystery as to how and when it came to be, for many, as this legitimate medium of connecting with the unknown, the dark and mysterious spirit world. Come now, let’s be honest, we all secretly believe in it a little! This phenomenon has never quite gone out of style as the curious human nature conveniently pushes us towards knowledge gathering of that or from those who are an enigma.
It’s all childish fun and games till someone – a gorgeous, attic-cleaning bit of a Ditz in Debbie (played by Shelley Hennig) – drops dead that ultimately leads to our introduction of the Cast for Director Stiles White’s 2014 Ouija. The Female Lead, Laine (played by Olivia Cooke) was distressed for what seemed like the first hour of the Film and admittedly the Script suffers from one too many plot holes and a lack of believability at times. Isabelle (played by Bianca Santos), may be the first to have her lips flossed together for good, but of all the Principal Characters, she was easiest to build a connection with.
The way Laine brazenly messes with the Ouija Board in order to “fix” things and more on the advice of an elderly, mentally ill, and creepy lady was brilliant. Of course the Evil Spirit’s Sister, who is now in an institution and clearly “not” crazy lies to Laine, who in turn gathers all her gullible Friends to follow through with more antics. Nona (played by Vivis Colombetti), also is one of the other highlights in the Film, imparting words of wisdom to Laine, but is far under-utilized. An Open Ending suggests that there could potentially be another installment on-the-way?
Overall, Ouija does look great thanks to the great Cinematography from Veteran David Emmericks, who solidly frames the scenes together. And no doubt, the Horror does have a few frightening moments, especially in the second half of the film. However, if you seek a lot more than a few jumpy scares, this Film may not cut it for you.
Universal Pictures Canada release OUIJA on Friday, October 24, 2014.