Review: Ouija

It is quite possible that expecting a film to be awful, can actually improve your viewing of it because your expectations can’t be disappointed; which is basically what I did watching this film. Supernatural horror films are not the highest caliber of genres but yet they are a fairly constant presence, ignoring that for a moment; after one girls unexpected suicide, her friends discover a ouija board among her possessions and decide they need to find out what really happened but they get slightly more than they bargained for.

The cast lead by Olivia Cooke and supported by Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos and Douglas Smith, each of them do their job though I give more credit to Cooke for learning a passable American accent while being from Manchester because that’s impressive; in general the acting is not completely awful which is a surprise. There is not your usual amount of over excited gasping and screaming, it is all fairly downplayed for the most part which again is surprising. Given that it isn’t exactly the most glimmering of material, the chance that any of them would really be able to give some sort of fantastic performance, is a basic impossibility, but I can appreciate the fact it doesn’t feel quite as ridiculous as it could, though that isn’t much of a compliment.

With a fairly short running time of just over 80 minutes the story feels as if it’s just jumping from moment to moment without much thought or explanation, which makes most of the characters decisions feel like nonsense, blink and you’d miss them. The story itself is not awful considering it is another film based on a board game, but it’s the foundation of a story that should be built upon, which is something that hasn’t happened here. The biggest fault is that the film seriously struggles to get a scare, a basic necessity for a horror film, but the reveals aren’t surprising enough to get that jump from an audience. The lack of actual horror completely undermines the whole thing, its entire purpose isn’t fulfilled; the changing of the horror element to have a darker edge would make a world of difference.

Overall the film isn’t terribly bad but it feels like minimal effort and minimal payoff, it is a short to the point story that could do with a few more drawn out moments to create suspense and slight more detail given to its decent moments. In general it feels like the younger sibling of a horror film that doesn’t quite go as far or as scary, one made for the teens rather than actual horror fans, which is probably a good reason why it has such a bad reputation.

Verdict: 5/10

 

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