**SPOILER ALERT** There is a short synopsis in the middle of this post. If you have not yet seen the film, please skip over this section. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
If you would like to read the full reviews that were quoted below, the articles are hyperlinked in the sources.
In 2014, we were graced with one of the worst horror movies of all time. The first film in this franchise, simply entitled “Ouija” did not live up to anyone’s expectations. In my opinion, as someone who was very excited for the release of this movie, Ouija was the biggest cinematic let down for horror movie fanatics for the entire year of 2014. You would think that a movie made by the producers of Insidious (a movie that I personally enjoy), would be everything we would have hoped, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
Now that some time has passed, the creators of the first film are back with a critically acclaimed “sequel” to the first film, this one entitled “Ouija: Origin of Evil”. The first thing that needs to be said is that if you haven’t already seen this film and you like supernatural horror movies… Close this browser window and go see it right now. You won’t regret it one bit. In today’s post I want to tell you about what makes this movie so great compared to the first of the franchise and in case you don’t want to take my word for it, I will add in some quotes from film critics and review websites for you to view as well.
To set the scene for this sequel, there are a few things that should be mentioned. The first is that this movie is technically a prequel to the first film as it is set back in 1965, while the first film is set in present day (2014). The story of Origin of Evil follows the back story behind the strange happenings that we witness in the first film.
Alice Zander is a young widow living in a beautiful home in Los Angeles, California with her two daughters Lina and Doris. As she struggles to make ends meet, she decides to restart the “family” business. Her mother was a psychic medium, and although Alice did not inherit the same gift, she open’s her home to strangers who wish to speak to their deceased loved ones. The entire operation is meant to be a harmless way to give innocent people closure after terrible loss.
One night, Lina sneaks out of the house to drink at a friend’s place. While she is there, they find a Ouija board that belongs to her friend’s mother and decide to play. Nothing happens. When they are caught drinking and Alice drives to the home to retrieve Lina, the girl jokes that they should add a Ouija board to their psychic “act”. The next day Alice buys the game from a local shop and rigs the planchette with magnets in order to manipulate the outcome for future clients. Not long after bringing the board home, the craziness ensues.
The youngest daughter, Doris, starts to use the Ouija board, hoping to come in contact with her late father, whom they all miss very much. In the process of learning how to use the board, she also learns that she can look through the oracle of the planchette in order to see the spirits around her. This is when she first comes into contact with Marcus. Alice is so thrilled that Doris has the gift of being a medium, that she pulls her out of school to sit in on the psychic readings that she holds while the girls are usually at school. This is when Doris starts to exhibit strange behaviour including speaking in other people’s voices, writing in a handwriting that is not her own and stating that she does not want to attend school because all of her friends live in the home.
It is eventually learned that Doris is possessed by a malevolent spirit and she tries to murder everyone from her mother and sister to the priest who acts as the principle of their Catholic school. In the end, Lina takes action and finds a way to stop the spirits, which in turn kills her mother and sister and lands her in a mental institution, which is where we last see her before the credits roll.
This movie is everything that I wanted the first film to be. Although there were quite a few jump scares (which, for the record, I am NOT a fan of as I see them as cheap scares), it really managed to scare me to my core. It even scared my boyfriend who saw the movie in theatres with me, to the point that he had to hide behind his sweater for a few of the scenes (… I was hiding too… not going to lie here).
The special effects really surprised me this time around in the sense that they didn’t just look like a silly effect to try to scare us, but they genuinely made the acting even better and made the characters seem less human at times, which is exactly what we needed to see. Especially with a main character being a young child, I find that a lot of the time we don’t get to see the true evil in a child, because their outward appearance still screams innocence.
Most of all, I think that this film was truly carried by the fantastic skills of the actors that were cast in main roles. I can honestly say that I will never be able to get the image of young Doris explaining what it feels like to be strangled to death out of my head. Lulu Wilson, the actress who portrayed Doris, was brilliantly cast and I can see her having a very bright acting career ahead of her. It takes a lot for a young actor (regardless of their acting history) to scare the living crap out of me like she did.
The only thing that I will say is getting kind of old, is the use of children in horror movies. I know that this theme will exist for the rest of my life, but recently there are so many movies about children being possessed, that I’m ready for something new. Regardless of this fact though, if you were truly disappointed by the original Ouija movie, I highly recommend seeing this one in theatres because it is really everything that the first film wasn’t.
To put this into perspective before I quote some reviews, please note that the original film from 2014 was rated at a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.4/10 on IMDB, where Origin of Evil was rated at an 82% (and certified) on Rotten Tomatoes and was given a 6.6/10 on IMDB.
“Thanks to the efforts of its talented cast and crew, Ouija: Origin of Evil is more solid horror film than soulless franchise continuation.” – Sandy Schaefer (Screen Rant)
“Ouija (2014) was terrible, but this prequel takes off in an entirely new direction with its mesmerizingly weird compositions and rhythms and wicked humour.” – Jeffery M. Anderson (Common Sense Media)
““Ouija: Origin of Evil” feels less like the continuation of a budding franchise than an apology for what went wrong the first time.” – Geoff Berkshire (Variety)
“Ouija: Origin of Evil is deliciously creepy, thanks largely to a terrific performance by the youngest of its stars.” – Neil Genzlinger (NY Times)
For reference purposes, below is the trailer for the original Ouija film as well.
That’s all for this time gals and ghouls! Let me know what you thought of this movie and tweet me about what horror movie you’re most excited for this coming year @kelsimarie1330.
Until next time, keep it spooky!