When I was watching Ouija, the first thing that came to mind was “Insidious called, and they want their opening back.”
The second was that I was going to fall asleep if things didn’t pick up soon, which was because the characters weren’t well fleshed-out, so when there wasn’t anything terrible happening to one of them, I lost interest.
Which is a sad commentary on human nature, when you think about it.
Though that doesn’t mean that the movie was badly acted, more than the actors were given relatively little to work with, so all that was left is the sometimes interesting ways that they were killed.
Which is a pity because if the movie had been allowed to develop a bit more, their deaths would have been more resonant, and by extension, more terrifying.
Though some unclean spirit must have been listening to my pleas because Ouija began to find its footing about fifteen or twenty minutes in when the ghost that was terrifying a group of twenty-somethings (who played high school-age young adults, which is really odd when you consider that there are plenty of actors who are actually teenagers) really began to make its presence known.
Another thing that was oddly distracting about Ouija was that it felt like an extension of movies like The Conjuring, Annabelle, and Insidious tonally as well as visually, a impression that wasn’t helped by the appearance of Lin Shaye–who also turned up in a trailer for Insidious 3 just before the movie began.
And I don’t mean to sound critical of Shaye in anyway because she always gives her best, no matter what she turns up in. That being said, the way Blumhouse movies (like Insidious and Ouija) lean on her makes me wonder if some sort of plague killed off all the other mature female actors in Hollywood and no one was told about it.
Don’t take from this review that Ouija isn’t worth watching, because that’s isn’t the case, though if you were willing to wait till it turned up on either cable or Netflix you’d be much better off because it doesn’t bring anything to the party that you haven’t seen done better elsewhere.
So, you could do worse by watching Ouija for an occasional scare, but you’d be better off catching Halloween or Fright Night, which are considered classics of the genre for a reason.