31 Days of Horror: “Ouija” (2014) Review

ouija-movie

When her friend Debbie (Shelley Hennig) dies in what appears to be a suicide, Laine (Olivia Cooke) thinks there’s more to her death and it may involve the Ouija board that was in her house. Laine then enlists the help of her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff), her sister Sarah (Ana Cato), her friend Isabelle (Bianca A. Santos), and Debbie’s boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith). The friends decide to use the same Oujia board the home where Debbie died. When they think they’ve made contact with Debbie, they feel they can finally put things to rest. However, something dark and sinister has broke through and they must figure out how to stop it.

Ouija is made from the much hated company known as Platinum Dunes, and it is a PG-13 horror film. This alone makes the horror community already hate it. However, this viewer found the film very entertaining film. It takes a simple idea as a Ouija board that’s been used in several supernatural films and throws into a very well-executed script. It does feature a few horror cliches such as people suddenly appearing, doors slamming, and even the cliche of the parents conveniently going out of town right when things are about to go down. However, the overall story is interesting and features a pretty decent, although not totally surprising twist. One thing I always give Platinum Dunes credit for is their excellent use of setting, filming style, and atmosphere. All of which shows up here. Many of the settings the characters find themselves help boost the the spook/creep factor, as does the cinematography and set design. The film isn’t scary, but it does a great job of providing just enough a creep factor to put the viewer in the right mind-set. And it does have seem genuine creepy moments, especially in the final act. The young cast also does very well with their roles, we believe them as a young group of kids, and they come off as pretty realistic. Olivia Cooke in particular who is known from the popular series Bates Motel shows that she can definitely pull of the role of the main girl. We really believe her as a girl wanting to know the truth and eventually wanting to save her friends. Definitely one actress to keep an eye on. One thing that particularly makes the film enjoyable is an excellent cameo made by an actress very well known in the horror genre.

Ouija may be made by a company with a bad rep in the horror community, and it’s PG-13, featuring some horror cliches. But it is a very entertaining film with a fun story, a great cast, excellent and creepy atmosphere/settings, and some genuinely spooky moments. Easily the most enjoyable PG-13 horror film since Insidious.

–Cody Landman

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