Has it been a banner year for horror movies? [Ouija Planchette moves slowly to “YES”] Liking the way you think, board. But let’s never talk again. As in ever again. Let’s break down down Ouija: Origin of Evil.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is directed by Mike Flanagan and is the prequel to the incredibly terrible Ouija movie back in 2014 that still made butt tons of money to warrant another one. Enter this period piece set in the 60’s, where a widow and her two daughters come into contact with a classic ouija board in order to help people get closure with passed away love ones until things go supernaturally bad for them.
The second I heard Hollywood was making another Ouija movie, I instantly rolled my eyes. I hated the first Ouija movie for its blatant genericness of horror tropes combined with stereotypical, bland teenagers and a poor script. The first Ouija movie is just poop.
But then I heard Mike Flanagan was directing this Ouija prequel and I was immediately interested. Flanagan has produced two really solid horror movies in Oculus (2013) and Hush so that gave me some hope going into this film. Much to my surprise and delight, I actually REALLY liked this movie and for good reason.
The performances in this film are top notch, no doubt. Elizabeth Reaser as the mother and Annalise Basso as the older daughter were both really good in their respective roles and played off each other extremely well. Even Henry Thomas as the Priest (Yeah, the kid from E.T.) got good deal of screen time and played a bigger role than I initially had predicted, but he had a real strong showing.
The MVP of this film though is the younger sister played by Lulu Wilson and holy hell, she turned up the creep. She’s the one that interacts the most with the ouija board and the spirits in conjures. She gave some really unsettling lines throughout the film which she delivers perfectly in way that’ll give you serious goosebumps. I’m not even kidding.
The film took its time to also properly flesh out and develop these characters so when the bad things start happening to them, we’ll actually care when things go south. Unlike its crappy predecessor that didn’t even attempt to describe those typical horror teens.
Like the majority of good horror films this year, this film effectively and gradually builds, unnerving tension throughout. It’s just one thing after another that puts you in a state of uneasiness, through disturbing visuals and eerie sound effects. Flanagan’s direction with the cinematography and sound design are very well utilized here and it just made for more creepy atmosphere in the theater.
Also another praise I gotta give to Flanagan’s style of direction is his lack of using standard jump scares. This film showcased, like I said, creepy imagery but the way Flanagan shows the audience is just so nonchalant. You’ll see something you know is going to be bad news, but no sudden, blaring sound will play. It’s just there on the screen and that to me, was way more effective than just playing a loud noise so the audience will jump.
I don’t what else I can say, but this year for Halloween, we actually have a really good horror movie! This film impressed and surprised the hell out of me, I was incredibly satisfied with this prequel. Compared to its predecessor, it blows it out of the water. Aside from small nitpicks, I can’t believe the Ouija franchise made this helluva comeback.
I’m going to give Ouija: Origin of Evil a solid “A” on the movie grading scale. If you’re looking for something truly creepy this Halloween, you gotta see this film this year. But still, stay away from ouija boards… Like why are we actually still selling those things in stores?
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.