You may have heard of it, you may have seen it.
Known as the Ouija board, it is a flat board with letters and numbers that comes with a moveable piece of wood. So what better way than to make up a horror flick and call it Ouija.
There have been debates on whether it is simply a game or a tool to communicate with the spiritual world. But let’s not go into that, as what we want is to know if this horror story is worth a shot.
Laine Morris and her best friend Debbie first familiarized themselves with the Ouija board as kids. Fast forward to adulthood, and we have Debbie playing with the board herself. Alas, a mishap occurs. Thus our dear Laine ropes in her younger sister along with three friends to play the Ouija, and the story kicks in. Any further details from this point are potential spoilers, so I’ll stop here.
Director Stiles White makes a feeble attempt at horror storytelling in his debut feature. In slow scenes meant to create suspense, it feels instead that time has come to a crawl. This is despite the fact that Ouija is just under 90 minutes long. Also, the absence of a strong background score lessens the impact that White might have intended.
Ouija employs the typical horror movie plot with a house shrouded in a haunted past, and an attic that each character somehow has the courage to venture into but lack the stupidity to avoid. The film makes use of plot twists fairly well, through a backstory involving a certain Doris Zander, her sister and their mother.
Given its presumably limited budget due to the production quality, the climatic action sequence could have been extended and made much more thrilling. In a film dominated by women, with just two guys in supporting roles, British actress Olivia Cooke leads the female cast as Laine. Though her acting is decent, her performance had room for much more improvement.
You could tell what movie it might be if Michael Bay is one of its producers. Nonetheless, horror is still horror. In the Halloween month of October, there is no better way to relish in your fears than indulge in some scares on the big screen. Just don’t play with Ouija boards. And also, try not to think about flossing your teeth.
Ouija opens in cinemas tomorrow, October 23.
Directed by: Stiles White
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Running time: 89 minutes
Release date: 23 October 2014