Beka P., Here….
Have no fear, there is nothing scary about Ouija. I was pretty apprehensive about going to see Ouija, mainly because I’m not a horror film gal, and confession: I’ve never seen one in a theater. These two things brought my level of anxiety to all time high as I walked into the theater. Fifteen minutes into the movie, I actually found myself laughing. It’s not that writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White meant to be funny, rather the acting in combination with the screenplay was so pathetic you had to laugh. While I was relieved that nightmares weren’t in my future, I didn’t care at all about finding out what happened to Debbie (played by Shelley Hennig).
The movie revolves around a group of friends who use a Ouija board to communicate with their recently departed friend, Debbie. The lackluster cast, led by Olivia Cooke, makes all the common mistakes you would expect in a horror film. Unfortunately, the movie is just that… predictable. You see the “scares” coming with only a few exceptions. There are loud noises that may cause some minor jumps in your seat, but nothing that will keep you up at night.
The most frightening thing about this flick is the acting. Olivia Cooke plays Debbie’s best friend, Laine. It’s her great idea to use the Ouija board to connect with Debbie on the other side. In Kristen Stewart fashion, Ms. Cooke suffers from severe lack of facial expression. This isn’t a great affliction for the leading lady in a horror film. I was never really convinced that she felt anything. The rest of the crew is made up of Laine’s sister Sarah (played by Ana Coto), her boyfriend Trevor (played by Daren Kagasoff), her friend Isabelle (played by Bianca Santos), and Debbie’s boyfriend Pete (played by Douglas Smith). Smith is clearly the standout for worst actor. Their decision to play the game leads to some terrible consequences.
Ouija does have some semblance of a plot, but it’s lacking a tight structure and smooth transitions. Many viewers around me were confused about what was happening at different points in the movie and I could hear people asking, “how is this still going,” and “is that it” throughout the film. The special effects and makeup may have been hindered by the greatly reduced budget ($100,000,000 to $5,000,000). One of the memorable images from the film is a mouth that has been sewn shut. It looks more realistic on some actors than on others, but in any event, it’s still disturbing. Other than this concept and the way it was executed, there is nothing that made an impression. I have to admit that while I laughed through ‘Ouija‘, I did skip flossing my teeth that night.
1 out of 5 Stars
– Beka Perlstein